Luke 7 is a striking collection of the four accounts suggested by the title above. Each account is compelling and relevant to our lives, speaking to our circum-stances today.   

Amazed   (Luke 7:1-10)  Jewish people appealed to the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of a Roman centurion.   While Roman authority over Israel is viewed negatively throughout the New Testament,  individual Romans are shown in a positive light. 

They said their centurion friend was worthy for Him to come and heal his servant.
When Jesus was still on his way to the centurion’s home,  messengers came to speak the centurion’s next thought: “I am not worthy for have you come into my house. Just speak the word and my servant will be healed.  I have authority – I tell people what to do and they do it.”  The centurion was implying, “Like I have authority, I believe you have authority, commanding all the factors involved in healing my servant. Speak and it will happen.”     

Jesus was amazed at his faith.  Possibly it was “healing at a distance” that so pleased our Lord.  It is one thing to have physical presence and heal people one is with;  it is another to have so much authority as to command all the factors involved so as to heal when distant from the recipient.  

Jesus Christ was amazed at the centurion’s faith (only one other time was Jesus amazed. He was amazed at the lack of faith of some who had seen Him heal people – Mark 6:6).  Do we have faith?  This is relevant to us now. 

Grieving  (Luke 7:11-17)   A widow in Nain was grieving the death of her son.  About 500,000 people have died in America in from the COVID-19 virus from late 2019 until spring, 2021.  Death has touched many homes in our day, as it did the widow’s. The Lord Jesus Christ was moved to compassion by the death of this woman’s only son. Jesus Christ awakened him from death and returned him to his mother.   While God does not normally reverse death, He did so in this case, causing much rejoicing and spreading His reputation throughout the area.  What applies to us from these verses is that the death of our loved ones is a concern to the Redeemer.  

Perplexed   (Luke 7:18-35) John was perplexed about what was happening . . . or rather,  what wasn’t happening.  John sent messengers to ask, “Should we expect someone else?”  The unstated part of the question was, “Since you have not established a kingdom – in the normal sense of the word – it appears that someone else is still coming in the future to do that.  Correct?” 

“No. Incorrect.  Tell John” said Jesus to John’s messengers, “that the blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, deaf hear and the good news is preached to the poor.” I believe He meant, “Happy is the person who does not misinterpret My mission and become perplexed.  Happy is the person who appreciates the kingdom I am establishing in the hearts and minds and lives of people and therefore does not become perplexed.”

Apparently John was expecting a kingdom similar to the Hasmonaean kingdom or the Herodian kingdom.  Jesus did not establish such a political, military kingdom, so John was perplexed.  

So the tantalizing and teasing question is, “What today have we misinterpreted in Scripture?  What popularly held view will be shown to have been an imbalance when we see God’s true meaning of what He said in the Bible?   What accepted wisdom will be exposed as a forced interpretation?  What are we missing?  This is highly relevant today.   

Judging   (Luke 7: 36-50) When invited to dinner at the home of a Pharisee, Jesus went.  During the meal a woman of the night came to Him and washed His feet.  The host thought, “If this man were a prophet, he would know that she was a bad woman.”

Jesus told him a story, the punch-line of which was, “He who is forgiven much loves much, but he who is forgiven little loves little.  How’s that for relevant?!

Dear Reader —  without investing 15 minutes reading Luke 7, this article will have gaps and leave you with little nourishment. Please always read the text from which an article comes.