A Roman officer believes that Jesus can help him
1 After Jesus had finished speaking to the people, he went to Capernaum. 2 A Roman officer there had a servant that he liked very much. The servant was very ill and he was dying.
7:1The Roman officer was a soldier in the army of Herod Antipas. He had authority over 100 men. The officer was a good man that took care of his men. He was not a Jew, but the Jews spoke well about him. They did not usually speak good things about the Romans.
3 The officer heard about Jesus, so he sent some important Jews to speak to him. ‘Please go to Jesus,’ he said to them. ‘I would like him to make my servant well. Ask him if he would come to do that.’ 4 The Jewish leaders went to Jesus. They asked him, ‘Please would you do something to help this Roman officer. 5 He loves the Jewish people. He himself built a meeting place for us.’
6 So, Jesus went with them. When he was not very far away from the house, the officer sent some friends to talk to him. He told them to say to Jesus, ‘Sir, I do not want to be a trouble to you. I am not good enough for you to come into my house. 7 That is why I did not come to talk to you myself. Instead, just say that my servant will get better. I know that he will then be well again. 8 In my work, someone has authority over me. I also have authority over other soldiers. I say to one soldier, “Go!” and he goes. I say to another one, “Come!” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this!” and he does it.’
9 When Jesus heard this message from the officer, he was very surprised. He turned towards the crowd that was following him. He said to them, ‘I tell you, I have not found anyone like this man in all of Israel. Nobody else believes in me as well as he does.’
10 The friends of the officer then returned to his house. When they arrived there, they saw that the servant was well again.
Jesus makes a dead man alive again
11 The next day, Jesus went to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large group of other people went with him. 12 When he had almost reached the gate of the town, lots of people were coming out. They were carrying a dead man on a mat. They were going to bury him. His mother had no other sons and her husband was also dead. A large crowd of people from the town were going with her.
13 When the Lord Jesus saw her, he felt very sorry for her. He said to her, ‘Do not cry.’ 14 He went to the box and he touched it. The people who were carrying the box stopped. Jesus said, ‘Young man, I am telling you, get up!’ 15 Immediately, the dead man sat up and he began to talk. Jesus then gave him back to his mother.
16 Everyone there was very afraid. They praised God and said, ‘A great prophet of God has appeared among us. God has come to save his people!’
17 This news about Jesus went all through Judea. The people in the places that were near there also heard about it.
Jesus talks about John the Baptist
18 Then some disciples of John the Baptist went to visit him in prison. They told him about all the things that Jesus was doing. So John chose two of them to go to the Lord Jesus for him. 19 He said to them, ‘I want you to ask Jesus, “Are you the special person that God is sending to us? If not, should we still look for someone else?” ’
20 So the two men came to Jesus. They said to him, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you. He wants us to ask you, “Are you the special person that God is sending to us? If not, should we still look for someone else?” ’
21 At that time, Jesus was making many people well. They had many different illnesses. Some had bad spirits in them. Jesus also caused many blind people to see again. 22 Then he said to the two men that John had sent, ‘Go back to John. Tell him what you have seen. Tell him what you have heard. Blind people can now see again. People that could not walk can now walk again. People who had a bad illness of the skin are now well again. Deaf people can now hear again. People who had died now live again. Poor people are hearing God's good news. 23 If anyone believes in me and does not turn away, he will be really happy.’
7:23John was alone in prison. He was afraid and he had troubles in his mind. He had thought, ‘Jesus is the person that God promised to send.’ He had told other people about him. Now he was not sure. He needed to know if it was true. So, he sent some of his disciples to find out. Jesus spoke to them about the powerful work that he was doing. By this, John would know that God had sent Jesus.
24 The two disciples of John then left. Jesus spoke to the crowd about John. He said to them, ‘You went out to the wilderness. What did you go there to see? Was it a tall piece of grass which the wind was blowing this way and that? No, you did not go to see that. 25 So, did you go to see a man who was wearing expensive clothes? No! People like that do not live in the wilderness. They have many beautiful things and they live in great houses. 26 So, what did you go to see? Did you go to see a prophet sent by God? Yes! But I tell you, John was even more important than a prophet. 27 This is what they wrote about him a long time ago in the Bible, when God said:
“Listen! I will send someone to go in front of you.
He will speak my message.
He will prepare a way for you.” ’
7:27We can read this in Malachi 3:1. God was speaking about Jesus the Messiah and about John the Baptist. God had promised that the Messiah would come to earth. He had promised that John would arrive first.
28 Jesus also said to the people, ‘I tell you, John is greater than any person who has ever lived up to now. But now anyone who belongs in the kingdom of God is greater than John, even the least important of them.’
7:28John came to tell people that Jesus is the Messiah. God promised many times in the Old Testament to send the Messiah. Those that believe his message now know God as their king. They are part of the family of God. John did not know God like that. That is why Jesus said this.
29 Many people heard what Jesus said. Even the men who took taxes on behalf of the government agreed with his message. They had asked John to baptize them. They all said, ‘What God says about us is right.’ 30 But the Pharisees and the men that studied God's Law did not want John to baptize them. They did not believe the message that God was giving to them.
31 Jesus continued to teach. He said, ‘I will talk to you about the people that are alive today. I will tell you what they are like. 32 They are like children who are sitting in the market place. They are playing games. They shout to other children,
“We made happy music on a flute for you,
but you did not dance.
Then we sang a sad song but you did not cry.”
33 You are like those children. When John the Baptist came, he often did not eat food for a time. He never drank wine. So you say that John has a bad spirit in him. 34 Then I, the Son of Man, came. I both eat and I drink. So you say about me, “Look at this man! He eats too much and he drinks too much. He is a friend of bad people and men who take taxes on behalf of the government.” 35 But God is wise and good. Wise people understand and they show that God is right.’
7:35John and Jesus were very different. But they were both living as God wanted them to live. The Pharisees thought of themselves as wise. But they would not accept either John or Jesus.
A woman pours expensive oil on Jesus
36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat a meal with him. So Jesus went to the Pharisee's house and sat down to eat. 37 In that town was a woman who had done many wrong things. She heard that Jesus was eating a meal at the house of the Pharisee. So she took a small stone jar with oil in it, and she went there. The oil had a very nice smell. 38 She went into the house and she stood behind Jesus. She was crying and she made his feet wet with her tears. Then she made his feet dry again with her hair and she kissed them. She then poured the oil out of the jar on to his feet. 39 When the Pharisee saw this, he said to himself, ‘This man cannot be a prophet from God. If he were, he would know all about this woman. He would know that she is a very bad person. He would not let her touch him.’
40 Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, I want to tell you something.’ Simon replied, ‘Yes, Teacher, tell me.’ So Jesus told him a story about two men:
41 ‘Someone had lent two men some money. He had lent one of them 500 silver coins. He had lent the other one 50 coins. 42 Neither of the men had enough money to pay him back. Then the man that had lent them the money forgave them. “You do not need to pay back my money,” he said to them both.’
7:41A man would pay someone one silver coin if he worked for a day.
Jesus then asked Simon, ‘Which of these two men will love that man most?’ 43 Simon replied, ‘I think that it is the man that needed to pay back the most money.’
‘You are right,’ Jesus said. 44 Then he turned towards the woman. ‘You see this woman,’ he said to Simon. ‘When I came into your house, you did not give me water for my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and she has made them dry with her hair. 45 You did not say “Hello” to me with a kiss. But this woman began to kiss my feet when she came in. And she has not stopped. 46 You did not put oil on my head. But she has brought oil with a nice smell and put it on my feet. 47 So I tell you, this woman has done many bad things. But I have forgiven them. She loves me a lot, because I have forgiven her a lot. If I only forgive someone a little, that person only loves me a little.’
7:44When someone went into a house, a servant brought water. This was to wash his feet. The master of the house also kissed the visitor and he poured oil on his head. These were the right things to do to welcome a visitor.
48 Then Jesus said to the woman, ‘Woman, I forgive you for all the bad things that you have done.’
49 The other people at the meal talked among themselves. They said, ‘Who is this man? Can he really forgive the bad things that people have done?’
50 Jesus said to the woman, ‘You have believed in me, so God has saved you. You may go now, and be happy.’