New Defender's Study Bible Notes
7:9 so great faith. The Gentile soldier, like the Phoenician woman, exhibited greater faith in the words of Christ (Matthew 15:28) than the Israelites to whom He had come.
7:14 Arise. This is the first of the three individuals raised by Jesus from the dead (see also Luke 8:54-55; John 11:43), and this event is recorded only by Luke.
7:19 Art thou he. It is generally believed that John, unjustly imprisoned by Herod, was so discouraged because Jesus had not helped him get out of prison that he was about to lose his faith. However, in view of John’s strength of faith and character, as confirmed by Christ (Luke 7:28), this seems unlikely. Furthermore, he was filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:15) and had received God’s direct revelation that Jesus was, indeed, “He that should come” (John 1:32-34). Consequently, an alternative explanation for John’s question should be considered. John had urged his own disciples to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37), knowing that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), but some still persisted in loyalty to him instead. While this was admirable in a way, John earnestly desired all his own converts to follow Christ. When he heard of Jesus’ miracles, especially His restoring the life of the widow’s son (Luke 7:14), he decided the way to accomplish this was to send his disciples to Jesus with this specific question, so they could see and hear for themselves. Jesus answered them merely by referring to the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-3 (the same Scripture He had used in the Nazareth synagogue which demonstrated His fulfillment of the prophecy by letting them see His works (Luke 7:20-22).
7:27 it is written. See Malachi 3:1.
7:28 not a greater prophet. See notes on Matthew 11:11.
7:29 justified God. This is one of several evidences that John’s gospel preaching, followed by baptism of his converts, was authentic Christian evangelism and baptism. Those who submitted to John’s baptism upon their repentance and faith in the coming Lamb of God, immediately “justified God” (implying full acceptance of Christ) as soon as they met Him.
7:34 ye say. The fact that “they” called Jesus a glutton and winebibber does not mean at all that He was either one, any more than John the Baptist was demon-possessed (Luke 7:33). He was “a friend of publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34), because He had come “to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10), and this was the fallacious basis of their ridiculous charge.
7:34 publicans. See note on Luke 5:29.
7:37 a sinner. Probably this implies she had been a prostitute, and many have assumed it was Mary Magdalene. This is unlikely, however, for Luke does not identify her, whereas Mary Magdalene is clearly identified just a few verses further on (Luke 8:2), and apparently was a woman of some substance (Luke 8:3).
7:37 alabaster box of ointment. This event took place in Galilee, fairly early in Jesus’ ministry. Some time later, during the last days of His ministry on earth, Mary of Bethany (near Jerusalem), a devoted follower of Jesus, performed a similar act of devotion (John 12:3). It may well be that Mary had heard of the earlier act by the formerly sinful woman, and felt that she should do the same. See also note on Matthew 26:12.
7:38 weeping. Whoever this was, she had somewhere encountered Jesus, had turned to Him in faith (Luke 7:50), and He had forgiven her sins (Luke 7:48). In gratitude and love, she boldly entered the Pharisee’s home to thank Him in the best way she could think of, and the Lord accepted it.
7:38 with tears. “Tear bottles” have been found among the artifacts from ancient Israel, in which their owners would collect and keep their tears. This woman had apparently spent many nights weeping over her sins and seemingly hopeless life, thus collecting enough tears actually to bathe the feet of Jesus in gratitude for forgiveness and salvation. See note on Psalm 56:8.
7:50 Thy faith hath saved thee. This is a beautiful example of the salvation of a lost sinner by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26).