Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 7:14-35

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Luke 7:14-15

touched. Contact with a corpse was forbidden by the law and made one ritually unclean (vv. 5:12-14; 8:54; Num. 19:11, 16). However, such was Jesus's power that he did not receive any defilement. Instead, he imparted life to the dead. I say . . . arise. No mention is made of faith (see note on vv. 7-8). Jesus speaks and his words brings life (8:48; John 11:43; see Gen. 1:3-31; Ezek. 37:9-10).

Luke 7:15

The man responded to Jesus's command by rising and speaking. gave him to his mother. The same wording used by Elijah after raising a young man back to life (1 Kgs. 17:23).

Luke 7:16

fear. Holy awe came over the people, which led to their worship of God. great prophet. The people recognized the prophetic nature of Jesus's ministry (4:23-24; 7:39; 9:8, 19; 13:33; 22:64; 24:19; Acts 3:22; 7:37). By calling him a great prophet, they saw similarities between his ministry and that of Elijah and Elisha (see notes on vv. 11, 15; 4:24-26). However, the people were still unsure of exact nature of Jesus's identity and mission (9:19).

Answering Men from John the Baptist - Luke 7:18-35

Jesus encouraged John's wavering faith. He also affirmed God's plan and rebuked those who were opposed to it.

Luke 7:18

Though John was in prison (3:18-20; Matt. 11:2), he had contact with his disciples who told him of Jesus's teaching and miracles.

Luke 7:19-20

John heard the divine affirmation of Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17) and declared that Jesus was the lamb of God (John 1:29). Thus, he expected messianic blessings as well as judgment (3:15-17). But such things did not happen in the time or manner that he expected. Understandably, John questioned whether or not he was really the Christ.

Luke 7:21-22

Jesus responded to John with great kindness. In the presence of John's disciples, he performed many miracles which displayed his power and authority. Jesus then intentionally pointed to six works: blind . . . receiving sight (4:18; 18:35-43; Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:18), lame . . . walking (5:17-26; Isa. 34:56; Acts 3:1-10; 8:7; 14:8-10), lepers . . . cleansed (5:12-16; 17:11-19; 2 Kgs. 5:1-19), deaf . . . hearing (1:22, 64; 11:14; Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:18), dead . . . raised (7:11-17; 8:40-56; 1 Kgs. 17:17-24; Isa. 26:19; Acts 9:36-43), needy . . . told good news (4:18; 6:20; Isa 61:1). As noted, all of these are specific messianic promises from Isaiah. John also understood his role as the forerunner promised by Isaiah (see 3:4-6 and notes). Thus, Jesus wanted to encourage John's faith by showing the fulfillment of these promises (see Matt. 12:20). The blessings of the kingdom were dawning, though judgment would come later.

Luke 7:23

Jesus's actions may cause some to doubt, but those that persevere in faith will be blessed. This was directed at John, but true for all who encounter Jesus through the Scriptures in every age.

Luke 7:24-26

Jesus asked a variation of the question What did you see? three times. This repetition pushed the people toward a true understanding of John. Jesus challenged any thoughts of John's insignificance by reminding the people why they went to hear John preach. He was a true prophet (vv. 26, 28). In this way, Jesus vindicated John despite his momentary wavering (see note on vv. 19-20). Understanding John would lead to understanding Jesus.

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