Luke Chapter 7
This chapter is rich in content, and many sermons and classes have been built around the Faith of the Centurion, the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with perfume, or Jesus’ discussion on John the Baptist. All very good stuff.
But something else stood out to me today in this chapter. Isn’t it interesting how often scripture speaks to us in different ways based on when we read it? That should be a very good reason to be in the word daily.
We have a funeral this coming week at our church for a World War 2 Veteran who lived a full life and passed away peacefully, and yet Bob will still be greatly missed. Last year around this time, my dad passed away unexpectedly. I really miss being able to talk to him. I know many people who are currently suffering from or have recently suffered from cancer. Someone else in our church is still suffering through a migraine headache that started three months ago. Death and suffering stink.
With all of these things in mind, this chapter has been an encouraging reminder for me. In the opening account of the chapter, Jesus fully heals the Centurion’s servant who was near death. Then Jesus raises a widow’s only son to life, after he had recently passed!
Later, in verses 22-23, it reads, “At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’”
Wow. Imagine the grief you would be feeling if you just lost a close loved one (some of us don’t have to imagine) and shortly afterward, the loved one is returned to us, fully healthy and alive. Or imagine if you have never had the ability to see, and then suddenly you did!
We are promised that there will be a Kingdom where the dead will have been raised back to life and where all suffering has ceased. That is hard to imagine as well. But here Jesus offers the proof that it is possible. Not only did Jesus raise the dead and fully heal the sick here and at other times, but many dead were also raised upon Jesus’ death, and then Jesus himself was raised to life. Of course only Jesus was raised to eternal life. The rest will have to wait until Christ returns.
Friends, we have access to that wonderful Kingdom that God has promised. What an amazing opportunity and reward that is. It is good to be reminded about that continually, but even more so at certain points in our lives. Do you known anyone else who could use that kind of encouragement? Do you know anyone else who doesn’t share that same hope for the future? If yes, then spread the Good News!