- Bible Reading: Luke 7:1-17
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- Unit Theme (February 7—February 14): Jesus Heals
- The Point: Jesus brings life to outsiders, just as he brings life to us all.
Jesus continues his traveling ministry, entering the area of Capernaum. He continues to teach, and also heal those he encounters. In today’s lesson, Jesus even raises the dead. The disciples follow Jesus, and word begins to spread about his ministry, even though many are not sure who he is or what his purpose is. Jesus’ ministry and actions continue to surprise those around him.
Jesus began traveling around Galilee providing healing and welcome. A centurion—a Roman military commander—who had heard about Jesus, sends his friends to request that Jesus might heal his slave. Jesus went to find the centurion and the slave. Before he arrived, the centurion had faith that Jesus could heal his slave with just a word, without even seeing him.
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”Luke 7:9
Later, Jesus found a widow whose son had just died. She would have no one to take care of her, and Jesus knew how difficult it would be for her. The death of her son not only leaves her without a beloved family member but also without social or economic status. A childless widow would be considered the most vulnerable in society, with no close male relatives to protect or support her. Jesus showed her compassion by raising her son from the dead.
In today’s reading, Jesus heals a centurion’s slave and raises to life the only son of a widow. The centurion was not Jewish, but Roman, and many are surprised that Jesus’ ministry would include someone like this. Yet, the centurion is praised for his faith. Jesus takes time to help the widow, as she is now in great need, having lost her husband, and her only son. Jesus takes time to be with those that others ignore or exclude. Jesus’ ministry of healing and welcome is for everyone; for those who were on the edges of society in Israel, and for each of us as well, no matter our background or situation.
Gregory Rawn (Publisher)
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