Luke 7:50
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
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(50) Thy faith hath saved thee.—From the merely controversial point of view these words have a value in ascribing the justification or salvation of the woman to faith, and not to love. Those who go deeper than controversy will find in them the further lesson that love pre-supposes faith. We cannot love any one—not even God—unless we first trust Him as being worthy of our love. She trusted that the Prophet of Nazareth would not scorn or reject her, and therefore she loved Him, and showed her love in acts, and, in loving Him, she loved, consciously or unconsciously, the Father that had sent Him.

Go in peace.—The Greek form is somewhat more expressive than the English. Our idiom hardly allows us to say “Go into peace” and yet that is the exact meaning of the original “Peace” is as a new home to which the penitent is bidden to turn as to a place of refuge.



Luke 7:50

We find that our Lord twice, and twice only, employs this form of sending away those who had received benefits from His hand. On both occasions the words were addressed to women: once to this woman, who was a sinner, and who was gibbeted by the contempt of the Pharisee in whose house the Lord was; and once to that poor sufferer who stretched out a wasted hand to lay upon the hem of His garment, in the hope of getting healing-filching it away unknown to the Giver. In both cases there is great tenderness; in the latter case even more so than in the present, for there He addressed the tremulous invalid as ‘daughter’; and in both cases there is a very remarkable connection hinted at between faith and peace; ‘Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.’

Now, there are three things that strike me about these words; the first of them is this-

I. The dismissal of the woman.

One might have expected that our Lord would have flung the shield of His companionship, for a little while, at any rate, over this penitent, and so have saved her from the scoffs and sneers of her neighbours, who knew that she was a sinner. One might have supposed that the depth of her gratitude, as expressed by her costly offering and by her tears, would have spoken to His heart, and that He would have let her stop beside Him for a little while; but no! Jesus said to her in effect; ‘You have got what you wished; go away, and take care of it.’ Such a dismissal is in accordance with the way in which He usually acted. For very seldom indeed, after He had gathered the first nucleus of four disciples, do we find that He summoned any individual to His side. Generally He broke the connection between Himself and the recipients of His benefits at as early a moment as possible, and dismissed them. And that was not only because He did not wish to be surrounded and hampered by a crowd of slightly attached disciples, but for two other reasons; one, the good of the people themselves, and the other, that, scattered all over northern Palestine, they might in their several circles become centres of light and evangelists for the King. He dispersed them that He might fling the seed broadcast over the land.

Jesus Christ says to us, if we have been saved by our faith, ‘Go!’ And He intends two things thereby. First, to teach us that it is good for us to stand by ourselves, to feel responsibility for the ordering of our lives, not to have a visible Presence at our sides to fall back upon, but to grow by solitude. There is no better way of growing reliant, of becoming independent of circumstances, and in the depths of our own hearts being calm, than by being deprived of visible stay and support, and thus drawing closer and closer to our unseen Companion, and leaning harder and heavier upon Him. ‘It is expedient for you that I go away.’ For solitude and self-reliance, which is bottomed upon self-distrust and reliance upon Him, are the things that make men and women strong. So, if ever He carries us into the desert, if ever He leaves us forsaken and alone, as we think, if ever He seems-and sometimes He does with some people, and it is only seeming-to withdraw Himself from us, it is all for the one purpose, that we may grow to be mature men and women, not always children, depending upon go-carts of any kind, and nurses’ hands and leading-strings. Go, and alone with Christ realise by faith that you are not alone. Christian men and women, have you learned that lesson-to be able to do without anybody and anything because your whole hearts are filled, and your courage is braced up and strengthened by the thought that the absent Christ is the present Christ?

There is another reason, as I take it, for which this separation of the new disciple from Jesus was so apparently mercilessly and perpetually enforced. At the very moment when one would have thought it would have done this woman good to be with the Lord for a little while longer, she is sent out into the harshly judging world. Yes, that is always the way by which Christian men and women that have received the blessing of salvation through faith can retain it, and serve Him-by going out among men and doing their work there. The woman went home. I dare say it was a home, if what they said about her was true, that sorely needed the leavening which she now would bring. She had been a centre of evil. She was to go away back to the very place where she had been such, and to be a centre of good. She was to contradict her past by her present which would explain itself when she said she had been with Jesus. For the very same reason for which to one man that besought to be with Him, He said, ‘No, no! go away home and tell your friends what great things God has done for you,’ He said to this woman, and He says to you and me, ‘Go, and witness for Me.’ Communion with Him is blessed, and it is meant to issue in service for Him. ‘Let us make here three tabernacles,’ said the Apostle; and there was scarcely need for the parenthetical comment, ‘not knowing what he said.’ But there was a demoniac boy down there with the rest of the disciples, and they had been trying in vain to free him from the incubus that possessed him, and as long as that melancholy case was appealing to the sympathy and help of the transfigured Christ, it was no time to stop on the Mount. Although Moses and Elias were there, and the voice from God was there, and the Shechinah cloud was there, all were to be left, to go down and do the work of helping a poor, struggling child. So Jesus Christ says to us, ‘Go, and remember that work is the end of emotion, and that to do the Master’s will in the world is the surest way to realise His presence.’

II. Now, the second point I would suggest is-

The region into which Christ admitted this woman. It is remarkable that in the present case, and in that other to which I have already referred, the phraseology employed is not the ordinary one of that familiar Old Testament leave-taking salutation, which was the ‘goodbye’ of the Hebrews, ‘Go in peace.’ But we read occasionally in the Old Testament a slight but eloquent variation. It is not ‘Go in peace,’ as our Authorised Version has it, but ‘Go into peace,’ and that is a great deal more than the other. ‘Go in peace’ refers to the momentary emotion; ‘Go into peace’ seems, as it were, to open the door of a great palace, to let down the barrier on the borders of a land, and to send the person away upon a journey through all the extent of that blessed country. Jesus Christ takes up this as He does a great many very ordinary conventional forms, and puts a meaning into it. Eli had said to Hannah, ‘Go into peace.’ Nathan had said to David, ‘Go into peace.’ But Eli and Nathan could only wish that it might be so; their wish had no power to realise itself. Christ takes the water of the conventional salutation and turns it into the wine of a real gift. When He says, ‘Go into peace,’ He puts the person into the peace which He wishes them, and His word is like a living creature, and fulfils itself.

So He says to each of us: ‘If you have been saved by faith, I open the door of this great palace. I admit you across the boundaries of this great country. I give you all possible forms of peace for yours.’ Peace with God-that is the foundation of all-then peace with ourselves, so that our inmost nature need no longer be torn in pieces by contending emotions, ‘I dare not’ waiting upon ‘I would,’ and ‘I ought’ and ‘I will’ being in continual and internecine conflict; but heart and will, and calmed conscience, and satisfied desires, and pure affections, and lofty emotions being all drawn together into one great wave by the attraction of His love, as the moon draws the heaped waters of the ocean round the world. So our souls at rest in God may be at peace within themselves, and that is the only way by which the discords of the heart can be tuned to one key, into harmony and concord; and the only way by which wars and tumults within the soul turn into tranquil energy, and into peace which is not stagnation, but rather a mightier force than was ever developed when the soul was cleft by discordant desires.

In like manner, the man who is at peace with God, and consequently with himself, is in relations of harmony with all things and with all events. ‘All things are yours if ye are Christ’s.’ ‘The stars in their courses fought against Sisera,’ because Sisera was fighting against God; and all creatures, and all events, are at enmity with the man who is in antagonism and enmity to Him who is Lord of them all. But if we have peace with God, and peace with ourselves, then, as Job says, ‘Thou shalt make a league with the beasts of the field, and the stones of the field shall be at peace with thee.’ ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go into peace.’

Remember that this commandment, which is likewise a promise and a bestowal, bids us progress in the peace into which Christ admits us. We should be growingly unperturbed and calm, and ‘there is no joy but calm,’ when all is said and done. We should be more and more tranquil and at rest; and every day there should come, as it were, a deeper and more substantial layer of tranquillity enveloping our hearts, a thicker armour against perturbation and calamity and tumult.

III. And now there is one last point here that I would suggest, namely:

The condition on which we shall abide in the Land of Peace.

Our Lord said to both these women: ‘Thy faith hath saved thee.’ To the other one it was even more needful to say it than to this poor penitent prostitute, because that other one had the notion that, somehow or other, she could steal away the blessing of healing by contact of her finger with the robe of Jesus. Therefore He was careful to lift her above that sensuous error, and to show her what it was in her that had drawn healing ‘virtue’ from Him. In substance He says to her: ‘Thy faith, not thy forefinger, has joined thee to Me; My love, not My garment, has healed thee.’

There have been, and still are, many copyists of the woman’s mistake who have ascribed too much healing and saving power to externals-sacraments, rites, and ceremonies. If their faith is real and their longing earnest, they get their blessing, but they need to be educated to understand more clearly what is the human condition of receiving Christ’s saving power, and that robe and finger have little to do with it.

The sequence of these two sayings, the one pointing out the channel of all spiritual blessing, the other, the bestowment of the great blessing of perfect peace, suggests that the peace is conditional on the faith, and opens up to us this solemn truth, that if we would enjoy continuous peace, we must exercise continuous faith. The two things will cover precisely the same ground, and where the one stops the other will stop. Yesterday’s faith does not secure to-day’s peace. As long as I hold up the shield of faith, it will quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, but if I were holding it up yesterday, and have dropped it to-day, then there is nothing between me and them, and I shall be wounded and burned before long. No past religious experience avails for present needs. If you would have ‘your peace’ to be ‘as the waves of the sea,’ your trust in Christ must be continuous and strong. The moment you cease trusting, that moment you cease being peaceful. Keep behind the breakwater, and you will ride smoothly, whatever the storm. Venture out beyond it, and you will be exposed to the dash of the waves and the howling of the tempest. Your own past tells you where the means of blessing are. It was your faith that saved you, and it is as you go on believing that you ‘Go into peace’.

7:36-50 None can truly perceive how precious Christ is, and the glory of the gospel, except the broken-hearted. But while they feel they cannot enough express self-abhorrence on account of sin, and admiration of his mercy, the self-sufficient will be disgusted, because the gospel encourages such repenting sinners. The Pharisee, instead of rejoicing in the tokens of the woman's repentance, confined his thoughts to her former bad character. But without free forgiveness none of us can escape the wrath to come; this our gracious Saviour has purchased with his blood, that he may freely bestow it on every one that believes in him. Christ, by a parable, forced Simon to acknowledge that the greater sinner this woman had been, the greater love she ought to show to Him when her sins were pardoned. Learn here, that sin is a debt; and all are sinners, are debtors to Almighty God. Some sinners are greater debtors; but whether our debt be more or less, it is more than we are able to pay. God is ready to forgive; and his Son having purchased pardon for those who believe in him, his gospel promises it to them, and his Spirit seals it to repenting sinners, and gives them the comfort. Let us keep far from the proud spirit of the Pharisee, simply depending upon and rejoicing in Christ alone, and so be prepared to obey him more zealously, and more strongly to recommend him unto all around us. The more we express our sorrow for sin, and our love to Christ, the clearer evidence we have of the forgiveness of our sins. What a wonderful change does grace make upon a sinner's heart and life, as well as upon his state before God, by the full remission of all his sins through faith in the Lord Jesus!Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace - See the notes at Mark 5:34. 49, 50. they that sat … Who is this, &c.—No wonder they were startled to hear One who was reclining at the same couch, and partaking of the same hospitalities with themselves, assume the awful prerogative of "even forgiving sins." But so far from receding from this claim, or softening it down, our Lord only repeats it, with two precious additions: one, announcing what was the one secret of the "forgiveness" she had experienced, and which carried "salvation" in its bosom; the other, a glorious dismissal of her in that "peace" which she had already felt, but is now assured she has His full warrant to enjoy! This wonderful scene teaches two very weighty truths: (1) Though there be degrees of guilt, insolvency, or inability to wipe out the dishonor done to God, is common to all sinners. (2) As Christ is the Great Creditor to whom all debt, whether great or small, contracted by sinners is owing, so to Him belongs the prerogative of forgiving it. This latter truth is brought out in the structure and application of the present parable as it is nowhere else. Either then Jesus was a blaspheming deceiver, or He is God manifest in the flesh. Thy believing in me as he who have power on earth to forgive sins, and accordingly making application to me, and this thy faith working by love, Galatians 5:6, producing in thee this hearty sorrow for thy sins, a subjection unto me, and such testifications of thy love as thou art able to make, hath been an instrumental cause of that salvation, which floweth from me as the principal cause, Romans 6:23. We have such another expression in Matthew 9:22 Mark 5:34; though the saving here mentioned be much more excellent than that there spoken of. Faith is profitable both for the good things of this life, and those of the life which is to come; and with reference to both, salvation is ascribed to faith, as the instrumental cause, not to obedience and love, though the faith that doth us good must work by love, and be evidenced by a holy conversation.

Go in peace, is a phrase which was the usual valediction among the Jews, as much as our Farewell, or God be with you, they under the term of peace comprehending all good; but when we consider who it is that speaketh, and what immediately preceded, we have reason to think this was a more than ordinary compliment or farewell, even as much as is comprehended under the term peace, which, as I before said, is all good, but more especially that peace mentioned by the apostle, Romans 5:1, as an effect of faith. Go thy way a blessed and happy woman, and in the view and sense of thy own blessedness, and be not troubled at the censures and reflections of supercilious persons, who may despise or overlook thee because thou hast been a great sinner. God hath pardoned thy sins, and this I assure thee of; only take heed to keep and maintain that peace.

And he said to the woman,.... Notwithstanding the Pharisee's censure, both of him and her:

thy faith hath saved thee; meaning either the object of her faith, himself, who was the author of eternal salvation to her; or that she, through faith in him, had received the blessings of salvation, pardon, righteousness, and life from him, and the joys and comfort of it; and had both a right unto, and a meetness for eternal glory and happiness:

go in peace; of conscience, and serenity of mind; let nothing disturb thee; not the remembrance of past sins, which are all forgiven, nor the suggestions of Satan, who may, at one time or another, present them to view; nor the troubles and afflictions of this present life; which are all in love; nor the reproaches and censures of men of a "pharisaic" spirit: go home to thy house, and about thy business, and cheerfully perform thy duty both to God and men; and when thou hast done thy generation work, thou shalt enter into eternal peace and joy.

And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; {g} go in peace.

(g) He confirms with a blessing the benefit which he had bestowed.

Luke 7:50. Jesus enters not into explanation in answer to these thoughts, but closes the whole scene by dismissing the woman with a parting word, intended to confirm her faith by pointing out the ground of her spiritual deliverance.

ἡ-g0- πίστις-g0- σ-g0-.] “fides, non amor; fides ad nos spectat, amore convincuntur alii,” Bengel.

εἰς εἰρήνην] as Luke 8:48. See on Mark 5:34.


From the correct interpretation of this section it is manifest of itself that this passage, peculiar to Luke, contains nothing without an adequate motive (Luke 7:37) or obscure (Luke 7:47); but, on the contrary, the self-consistency of the whole incident, the attractive simplicity and truth with which it is set forth, and the profound clearness and pregnancy of meaning characteristic of the sayings of Jesus, all bear the stamp of originality; and this is especially true also of the description of the woman who is thus silently eloquent by means of her behaviour. This is in opposition to de Wette (comp. also Weiss, II. p. 142 ff.). A distorted narrative (Schleiermacher), a narrative from “a somewhat confused tradition” (Holtzmann), or a narrative gathering together ill-fitting elements (Weizsäcker), is not marked by such internal truth, sensibility, and tenderness.

Luke 7:50. Concerned only about the welfare of the heroine of the story, Jesus takes no notice of this, but bids her farewell with “thy faith hath saved thee, go into peace”. J. Weiss (Meyer) thinks Luke 7:49 may be an addition by Lk. to the story as given in his source.

50. he said to the woman] Our Lord would not on this, as on the previous occasion, rebuke them for their thoughts, because the miracle which He had worked was the purely spiritual one of winning back a guilty soul,—a miracle which they could not comprehend. Further, He compassionately desired to set the woman free from a notice which must now have become deeply painful to her shrinking penitence.

Thy faith hath saved thee] The faith of the recipient was the necessary condition of a miracle, whether physical or spiritual, Mark 5:34; Mark 9:23; Matthew 9:2; Matthew 13:58; Matthew 15:28; John 4:50; Acts 3:16; Act 13:8.

go in peace] Rather, to or into peace—a translation of the Hebrew leshalom, “for peace,” 1 Samuel 1:17. “Peace” (shalom) was the Hebrew, as ‘grace’ (χαίρειν) was the Hellenic salutation. See on Luke 2:29, and Excursus VII.

Notice that St Luke omits the anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany from a deliberate “economy of method,” which leads him to exclude all second or similar incidents to those which he has already related. Thus he omits a second feeding of the multitude, and healings of blind, dumb, and demoniac, of which he severally gives a single specimen. The events of Mark 7:24—viii. 26 and Luke 9:12-14 are probably excluded by St Luke on this principle—to avoid repetition. It is a sign of what German writers call his Sparsamkeit. Nor must we forget that the records of all the manifold activity which at times left the Lord no leisure even to eat, are confined to a few incidents, and only dwell on the details of a few special days.

Luke 7:50. Εἶτε δὲ, moreover He said) Jesus confirms the woman in her faith against all doubts. The same expression is found, ch. Luke 8:48, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42.—πίστις, faith) not thy love. Faith has regard to ourselves: by love others are convinced [and convicted of their own want of love, in many cases, as in this instance].—πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην) So LXX. 1 Samuel 1:17. So below, ch. Luke 8:48.

Verse 50. - And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Then, with just one solemn word reminding the people assembled in that guest-chamber of faith, that firm trust in the goodness and mercy of God upon which her forgiveness rested, he dismissed the woman, rousing her at once from her dreamy ecstasy, sending her from his presence back again into the ordinary life of the busy world, but bearing along with her now his mighty priceless gift of a peace which passeth understanding.

Luke 7:50In peace (εἰς εἰρήνην)

Lit., into peace. See on Mark 5:34.

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