Luke 7:1
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
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(1) In the audience of the people.—Better, in the hearing, or, in the ears, the older sense of “audience” having become obsolete.

He entered into Capernaum.—The sequence of events is the same as that in Matthew 8:5-13; and, as far as it goes, this is an element of evidence against the conclusion that the Sermon on the Mountain and that on the Plain were altogether independent. Looking, however, at the manifest dislocation of facts in one or both of the Gospels, St. Matthew placing between the Sermon on the Mount and the healing of the centurion’s servant, the healing of the leper, which St. Luke gives in Luke 5:12-16, the agreement in this instance can hardly be looked at as more than accidental.

Luke 7:1-10. When he had ended all his sayings — Namely, those contained in the preceding chapter; in the audience of the people — For though his discourse was immediately addressed to his disciples, he delivered it in the hearing of the people who stood round him in the plain; he entered into Capernaum — Near which town the plain was in which he had preached. And a certain centurion’s servant was sick — See some of the circumstances of the miracle explained on Matthew 8:5-10. And when he heard of Jesus — Of his miracles and of his arrival at Capernaum; he sent unto him the elders of the Jews — “Magistratus oppidi, aut præpositos synagogæ, either the magistrates of the town, or the rulers of the synagogue.” — Grotius. For, as it was anciently the custom of the Jews to intrust the management of public affairs to persons advanced in years, as having most wisdom and experience, they called all who discharged those offices elders, even when, in later times, they were admitted to them without any regard to their age at all. It is plain, from the more circumstantial account here given of this miracle by Luke, than that given by Matthew, that when the latter says, There came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, &c., he is not to be understood as signifying that the centurion came in person, but only by his messengers. Indeed, it is usual in all languages, especially in the Hebrew, to ascribe to a person himself the things which are done, and the words which are spoken, by his order. Accordingly, Matthew relates as said by the centurion himself, what others said by order from him. An instance of the same kind we have in the case of Zebedee’s children: from Matthew 20:20, we learn it was their mother that spoke those words which, Mark 10:35-37, they themselves are said to speak; because she was only their mouth. In John 4:1, Jesus is said to baptize, when he baptized by his disciples. And John 19:1, Pilate is said to take and scourge Jesus, when he did it only by his soldiers. Thus, in the following Jewish proverbs, adduced by Le Clerc on this passage, “The messenger of any man is as, or equal to, the man himself. The ambassador of a king is as, or equal to the king.” And nothing is more frequent, even at this day, in our courts of law, than to say that a person comes into the court, and asks a thing, which he asks perhaps only at the third hand, — by the counsel, whom his solicitor has employed in his cause. They besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy — This centurion seems to have been what they called a proselyte of righteousness; for he was a lover of the Jewish nation, on account of their religion, and therefore had built them a synagogue: which attachment to them, and uncommon generosity, had made him greatly beloved in that country. Hence these elders of Capernaum, where he now resided, heartily espoused his cause on this occasion, presented his petition to Jesus, and urged it also from the consideration of his character. Then Jesus went with them — As he constantly embraced every opportunity of doing good, whether to the bodies or souls of men; so he did not decline this that was now offered him, but cheerfully went with the elders as they desired, in order to heal the centurion’s servant. And when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him — In the way, some of the centurion’s friends, whom he had sent, met Jesus with a message from him, in which he expressed the highest opinion of our Lord’s power, and desired him not to take the trouble of coming, but to order the cure, which he knew he could easily do. When Jesus heard these things he marvelled at him — Admired him, on account of his great humility, and the strength of his faith. See on Matthew 8:5. And turned him about, and said unto the people — With great solemnity; I say unto you — What it is of great importance that you should consider and lay to heart; I have not found so great faith — As now appears in this stranger; no, not in Israel — In all my journeys through the country, and converse with its inhabitants. Observe, reader, Christ will have those that follow him to observe and consider the great examples of faith that are sometimes set before them; especially when any such are found among those who do not profess to follow Christ so closely as they do; in order that, by considering the strength of the faith of such, they may be ashamed of the weakness and wavering of their own. And they, returning, found the servant whole — The cure was immediately and perfectly wrought. Observe also, 1st, The kindness of this centurion to his servant, and the anxiety he showed to get him cured, were suitable to the character of a humane master, and exhibit an excellent pattern of duty, very fit to be imitated by Christian masters, with whom it is but too common to treat their servants and dependants as if they were not creatures of the same rank with themselves, but of an inferior order. 2d, Christ will take cognizance of the distressed case of poor servants, and be ready to relieve them; for there is no respect of persons with him. Nor are the Gentiles excluded from the benefit of his grace. Nay, this was a specimen of that much greater faith which would be found among the Gentiles, when the gospel should be preached to them, than among the Jews.7:1-10 Servants should study to endear themselves to their masters. Masters ought to take particular care of their servants when they are sick. We may still, by faithful and fervent prayer, apply to Christ, and ought to do so when sickness is in our families. The building places for religious worship is a good work, and an instance of love to God and his people. Our Lord Jesus was pleased with the centurion's faith; and he never fails to answer the expectations of that faith which honours his power and love. The cure soon wrought and perfect.In the audience of the people - In the hearing of the people. CHAPTER 7

Lu 7:1-10. Centurion's Servant Healed.

(See on [1591]Mt 8:5-13.)Luke 7:1-10 Christ admires the centurion’s singular faith, and

healeth his absent servant.

Luke 7:11-17 He raiseth to life the widow’s son at Nain,

Luke 7:18-23 and sendeth back the messengers of John with an

account of the miracles they had seen wrought by him.

Luke 7:24-30 His testimony of John.

Luke 7:31-35 He reproveth the perverseness of the people, who were

not to be won either by the manners of John or himself.

Luke 7:36-50 He suffereth his feet to be washed and anointed by a

woman who had been a sinner; and in a parable showeth

that even the worst of sinners may be forgiven upon

the terms of a hearty and sincere repentance.

Ver. 1-10. See Poole on "Matthew 8:5", and following verses to Matthew 8:13, where we have considered all the differences between Matthew’s and Luke’s relation of this miracle. We have in it remarkable,

1. The humanity of the centurion to his servant, to teach us Christians to do the like.

2. The profitableness of good works: the centurion’s love to the Jews in building them a synagogue gains their applications to Christ for him.

3. The humility of the centurion: he did not think himself worthy to appear in Christ’s presence, nor to receive Christ into his house.

4. His faith in Christ’s Divine power and goodness. It doth not appear that he believed that Christ was the eternal Son of God, but he did at least believe that he was clothed with a Divine power, or had a Divine power communicated to him from God, by which he was able, at a distance, and by no more than a word, without application of human rational means, to command off the distemper of his servant.

5. The power of faith in God, and its acceptableness to him. Christ doth not only effect the cure, but predicate his faith to be greater than he had found amongst the generality of the Jewish nation, who went for the only people of God at that day, and had much more light, and means to discern that Christ was sent of God for the good of men, than this Roman captain had.

Now when he had ended all his sayings,.... That is, when Jesus, as the Persic version expresses it, had finished all the above sayings, doctrines, and instructions; not all that he had to say, for he said many things after this:

in the audience of the people; of the common people, the multitude besides the disciples; and that openly, and publicly, and with a loud and clear voice, that all might hear:

he entered into Capernaum; Jesus entered, as the Syriac version reads, into his own city, and where he had been before, and wrought miracles.

Now {1} when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

(1) Christ admonishes the Jews that for their obstinacy and rebellion he will go to the Gentiles, by setting before them the example of the centurion.

Luke 7:1-10. See on Matthew 8:5-13. In the present form of Mark’s Gospel the section must have been lost at the same time with the Sermon on the Mount, Luke 3:19 (Ewald, Holtzmann); both are supposed to have existed in the primitive Mark. Comp. on Mark 3:19.

ἐπλήρωσε] cum absolvisset, so that nothing more of them was wanting, and was left behind. Comp. 1Ma 4:19 (cod. A); Eusebius, H. E. iv. 15 : πληρώσαντος τὴν προσευχήν. Comp. συνετέλεσε, Matthew 7:28.

ἀκοάς] as Mark 7:35.

The healing of the leper, which Matthew introduces before the healing of the servant, Luke has inserted already at Luke 5:12 ff.

Luke 7:3. πρεσβυτέρους] as usually: elders of the people, who also on their part were sufficiently interested in respect of the circumstance mentioned at Luke 7:5. Hence not: chiefs of the synagogue; ἀρχισυναγώγους, Acts 13:15; Acts 18:8; Acts 18:17.

ἄξιός ἐστιν, ] equivalent to ἄξιός ἐστιν, ἵνα αὐτῷ. See Kühner, § 802. 4; Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 198 [E. T. 229].

ἐλθών] Subsequently, in Luke 7:6, he changed his mind; his confidence rose to a higher pitch, so that he is convinced that he needs not to suggest to Him the coming at all.

Luke 7:4. παρέξῃ] The Recepta παρέξει, as the second person, is not found anywhere; for ὄψει and βούλει (Winer, p. 70 [E. T. 89]) are forms sanctioned by usage, to which also is to be added οἴει; but other verbs are found only in Aristophanes and the tragic writers (Matthaei, p. 462; Reisig, ad Soph. Oed. C. p. xxii. f.). If παρέξει were genuine, it would be the third person of the future active (min.: παρέξεις), and the words would contain the utterance of the petitioners among themselves.

Luke 7:5-6. αὐτός] ipse, namely, of his own means.[106] The Gentile builder did not prejudice the sanctity of the building, because that came by means of the consecration. See Lightfoot, p. 775.

φίλους] as Luke 15:6; Acts 10:24, kinsfolk, relatives; see Nägelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 374.

Luke 7:7. διό] on account of my unworthiness.

οὐδέ] not at all.

ἐμαυτόν] in reference to those who had been sent, who were to represent him, Luke 7:3.

παῖς] equivalent to δοῦλος, Luke 7:2. According to Baur, it is an unmerited accusation against Luke that he erroneously interpreted the παῖς of his original source, and nevertheless by oversight allowed it to remain in this place (Holtzmann).

Luke 7:8. ὑπὸ ἐξουσ. τασσόμ] an expression of military subordination: one who is placed under orders. Luke might also have written τεταγμένος, but the present depicts in a more lively manner the concrete relation as it constantly occurs in the service.

Luke 7:10. τὸν ἀσθενοῦντα δ. ὑγιαίν] the sick slave well (not: recovering). ἀσθενοῦντα, present participle, spoken from the point of view of the πεμφθέντες, Luke 7:6. Ού γὰρ ἅμαὑγιαίνει τε καὶ νοσεῖ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, Plat. Gorg. p. 495 E. As an explanation of this miraculous healing from a distance, Schenkel can here suggest only the “extraordinary spiritual excitement” of the sick person.

[106] He was such a friend of Judaism, and dwelt in the Jewish land. This was a sufficient reason for Jesus treating him quite differently from the way in which He afterwards treated the Syrophoenician woman. Hilgenfeld persists in tracing Matthew 8:5 ff. to the supposed universalistic retouching of Matthew. See his Zeitschr. 1865, p. 48 ff.Luke 7:1-10. The Centurion of Capernaum (Matthew 8:5-13).Luke 7:1-10. Healing of the Centurion’s Servant.

. in the audience] i.e. in the hearing.

he entered into Capernauni
] See Matthew 8:5-13. This was now His temporary home. The incident occurred as He was entering the town.Verses 1-10. - The servant (or slave) of the centurion of Capernaum is healed. Verse 1. - Now when he had ended all his sayings. This clearly refers to the sermon on the mount. That great discourse evidently occupied a position of its own in the public ministry of the Lord. Its great length, its definite announcement of the kind of reign he was inaugurating over the hearts of men, its stern rebuke of the dominant religious teaching of the day, its grave prophetic onlooks, - all marked it out as the great manifesto of the new Master, and as such it seems to have been generally received. He entered into Capernaum. The residence of Jesus, as we have before pointed out, during the greater part of his public life. It was, as it were, his head-quarters. After each missionary tour he returned to the populous, favoured lake-city which he had chosen as his temporary home. Sayings (ῥήματα)

See on Luke 1:37.

In the ears (εἰς τὰμ ἀκοὰς)

Lit., into the ears. See on ears, Luke 4:37.

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