Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 28

Here’s the Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for Jan. 28 written by Rony Kozman, assistant professor of Biblical Studies at Samford University in Birmingham.

Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 28

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By Rony Kozman, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Biblical Studies, Samford University


LUKE 7:1–10

In desperate situations, we look to Jesus for help. (1–5)

In these verses we read about the Roman centurion who asks Jesus to heal his slave. The centurion is himself one who has authority over 80 men, and this man of authority has come to Jesus for help. The centurion “servant, who was highly valued by him” and who “was sick and about to die” (v. 2). The centurion was a Gentile (a non-Jew) who feared Israel’s God. As we learn, the Jewish elders who spoke to Jesus on his behalf vouched for the centurion. They told Jesus, “he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue” (v. 5).

Faith recognizes the authority of Jesus. (6–8)

While the Jewish elders vouch to Jesus that the Roman centurion is worthy of Jesus’ help, the Roman centurion also says through them, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof” (v. 6). Since the centurion did not presume to be worthy to come to Jesus, he asks that Jesus simply speak the word and his slave would be healed. The centurion recognizes Jesus’s authority and the power of Jesus’ word. What makes this recognition of Jesus’ authority so startling is that the centurion understands authority very well. He is himself “under authority,” and he has soldiers and slaves under his own authority who do just as he commands. We see Jesus’ authority in two ways. The Roman centurion who is one with authority asserts that he is unworthy of Jesus, which showcases Jesus’ greater authority. We also see Jesus’ authority by the power of His word and the efficacy of His command. 

Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, we see Jesus’ authority in various ways. He has authority to command evil spirits (4:33–37). He has authority over “various diseases” (4:38–40), and the demons recognize His authority knowing that “He was the Messiah” (4:41). He has “authority on earth to forgive sins” (5:24), and He has authority to heal on the Sabbath (6:5–11). As the Messiah — the King of Israel — Jesus has the authority to bring God’s Kingdom to earth and to restore creation.

Jesus is pleased when we express faith in Him. (9–10)

Those who submit to Jesus’ authority become part of His Kingdom. Jesus is very clear that it is not enough to simply call Him Lord (6:46). After all, even the demons recognize that Jesus is the Son of God. But Jesus says that it is not those who simply call Jesus “Lord” who will flourish, but it is those who recognize Jesus’ authority as the Son of David and who submit to Jesus’ authority. As Jesus says, it is the one who “hears My words and acts on them” who pleases Him (6:47). 

This emphasis on Jesus’ authority continues in the story of the Roman centurion who recognizes that authority and even places himself under it. Jesus is amazed by the centurion’s faith, and what makes the centurion’s faith so remarkable is that it is a Roman centurion — not even an Israelite — who recognizes that Jesus is the Son of David and King. In Luke’s presentation the Gentile (representing the nations), an authority in the great Roman Empire, recognizes Jesus’ reign and God’s Kingdom as even greater than that of Rome.