Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 7:1-35 three matters are covered: the Man-Savior curing the dying one with a word (vv. 1-10), the Man-Savior showing pity to the weeping mother by raising up her dead son (vv. 11-17), and the Man-Savior strengthening His forerunner (vv. 18-35). It may not seem that there is any connection between these three instances. Actually, these matters are related.
Luke 7:1 and 2 say, “After He completed all His words in the hearing of the people, He entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s slave, who was highly valued by him, was ill and about to die.” A centurion was an officer over one hundred in the Roman army. This centurion represents the believing Gentiles, who are saved through faith in the Lord’s word (v. 7).
Having heard about Jesus, this centurion “sent to Him elders of the Jews, requesting that He might come and bring his slave safely through his illness” (v. 3). When these elders reached Jesus, “they entreated Him earnestly, saying, He is worthy that You should grant this to him. For he loves our nation, and he himself built the synagogue for us” (vv. 4-5).
While the Man-Savior was on His way to the centurion’s home, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof; wherefore I did not even count myself worthy to come to You; but say a word, and let my servant be cured” (vv. 6-7). In verse 8 we have a further word of the centurion conveyed to the Lord Jesus through his friends: “For I also am a man set under authority, having under myself soldiers; and I tell this one, Go, and he goes; and another, Come, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it” (v. 8).
In 7:1-10 we see authority and the word of authority. The centurion seemed to be saying to the Man-Savior, “Lord, I am not worthy to come to see You or for You to come to my house. Yet I know what authority is. I am under the authority of others, and others are under my authority. All I need to do is speak a word to one of the soldiers, and he does what I say. I know, Lord, that You are the authority in this universe.”
How did this Roman centurion, a Gentile, come to know the Lord’s authority? According to verse 5, he loved the Jewish nation and built a synagogue for the Jews. From this we see that probably he had some knowledge of the Old Testament. Furthermore, he referred to the Man-Savior as Lord. Hence, he realized that the Man-Savior was the One who has the genuine authority.
The centurion also knew the significance of a word of authority. This was the reason he could say to the Man-Savior, “Say a word, and let my servant be cured” (v. 7). He knew authority and the word as the expression of authority. The centurion’s slave was in fact healed by the word of the Man-Savior.
In 7:9 the Lord Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith: “And hearing these things, Jesus marveled at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” The Gentile centurion recognized the authority of the Man-Savior and realized that His word was a word with healing authority. Thus, he believed not only in the Man-Savior, but also in His word. He asked the Lord not to come personally, but only to send His word. The Man-Savior marveled at this great faith.
In this case also we see the Lord’s human virtues with His divine attributes. His virtue was expressed in the fact of His going to the home of the centurion. The Lord Jesus is the Lord of the entire universe. Nevertheless, He was willing to go to see an officer in the Roman army. The centurion had only one hundred soldiers under his authority, but the Lord Jesus has the whole universe under His authority. In the Man-Savior’s human virtue, His divine attribute of authority was expressed. He spoke a word, and the centurion’s slave was healed. Here we see the Lord’s divine attribute manifested in His human virtue.
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