Here is the link for today’s reading: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=323521223
Centurion’s Servant 7:1-10
The term Centurion comes from the idea that the person is a captain of 100 soldiers, hence the part of the word that echoes with century. Reading the text in the Greek, there are a few peculiarities that do not come out fully in the english translation.
The first is the in verse 5, where it is declared he loves the jewish people. As you may already be familiar, there are a few words in Greek that get translated as Love in english. Here, theoretically at least, two terms could have been used. One would have been philos, or brotherly love, the other is agape, or loving the way God would want one to love. The distinction is important, and Luke here quotes the friends of the Centurion as saying that he Agapes their people, in other words, he treats them the way God would want them to be treated, with compassion, humility, forbearance, etc.
The other peculiarity is the word slave or servant is often a translation of the greek word doulos, which isn’t nessecarily the same idea as what one might think of as a Slave in someone who was owned as strictly as property or as less than human, as slaves in the United States prior to the Civil War were seen. Rather doulos is closer to bondsman, often someone who was working off a debt, but who, in most cases, after a set period of time could be released. In verses 2, 3, 8 & 10, the greek word used is in fact doulos. But in verse 7, when the centurion is being quoted by his friends, the word pais is used, which means youth, or boy, or young man. It implies something close to an apprentice, someone who is learning and growing. I am not sure if this is particularly important, but i though it was worthy to point out, do you think it makes any sort of difference to the understanding of the text?
Also important to note in this passage is the fact that the Centurion addresses Jesus as Lord. The Centurion would not have been Jewish, but still calls Jesus Lord, definitely worth paying attention to.
- Who’s faith is Jesus marveling at, the Centurion’s or the servants of the Centurion, that they do whatever he says unquestionably?
- What are the implications of a Gentile calling Jesus Lord?
Young Man From Nain 7:11-17
Jesus raises a man from the dead in this passage, this is the first account of this happening in Luke. Raising someone from the dead is also a very dangerous thing to do, since it was thought that only those with evil spirits could raise people from the dead. During those days, for someone to be considered fully dead, they would have had to have been dead for 3 days. Raising someone from the dead after 3 days was considered truly remarkable. Which makes me wonder, were they raising people from the dead before 3 days on a regular basis?
I mention this because in other places throughout the gospels the fact that some was dead for 3 days before Jesus brought them back to life is mentioned. It is not mentioned here. I can not remember if it is mentioned later in Luke, but as we read on lets pay attention for that.
As news of this particular miraculous event spread, it would have drawn a great deal of concern from the pharisees and other temple leaders, leading them to believe that Jesus may have been something other than the son of God.
- Luke is the only Gospel writer to tell this particular story. Other writers include the raising of people from the dead (Lazarus, Tabitha), with that in mind, why does Luke include this story? Is it only an attempt to be accurate, or is there something more here?
- Could this story in any way be foreshadowing to what happens between Jesus and his mother Mary at the time of the crucifixion?