christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

luke 7, saved by faith

Read Luke 7 at Bible Gateway.

This chapter forms a chiastic structure:

Luk 7:1-50
1a) Luk 7:1-10, The faith of an outcast: the servant of the Roman centurion is saved by faith;
1b) Luk 7:11-17, Jesus raises the son of the widow of Nain: a great prophet has risen among us;
central axis) Luk 7:18-23, Who is Jesus? He is the Coming One, who fulfills what the prophets have spoken of Him;
2b) Luk 7:24-35, There is no greater prophet than John the Baptist, he is the messenger going before YHVH’s face;
2a) Luk 7:36-50, The faith of an outcast: the woman who was a sinner is saved by faith.

The crowds said of Jesus, after He raised the widow’s son, that He was a great prophet. But Jesus said of John the Baptist, that there was no greater prophet among men, than John. John said of Jesus, that One was coming who was greater than himself, whose sandal strap he was not worthy to unloose.

So what was Jesus saying, by saying to the crowds that of the prophets, it was not Himself but John who was the greatest? He was not identifying Himself as a prophet, but the One whom all the prophets spoke for, the One whom the greatest prophet, John, prepared the way for. He was identifying Himself as the Coming One, whom all the prophets proclaimed from Moses to Malachi. In fact, He was identifying Himself as YHVH, whose messenger the greatest prophet was, who would come before His face, to prepare His way.

Now this is astonishing! This is YHVH come in flesh, proclaiming Himself by His works! And what are His works? Yes, He healed every sickness, every disease, defeated death, and cast out demons. But the bookends of the structure also reveal:

His work is to save all those who have faith in Him, who believe Him, and who put their trust in Him — including those who are outcast, as the Roman centurion was and as the woman who was a sinner was.

What is the Spirit saying by the Scripture? It is not who you are or what you have done that qualifies you or disqualifies you. But all those who have faith, are saved by that faith.

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