The faith of the centurion
1When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was ill and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, ‘This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.’ 6So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: ‘Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go”, and he goes; and that one, “Come”, and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this”, and he does it.’
9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.’ 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
Jesus raises a widow’s son
11Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.’
14Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’ 15The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’ 17This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Jesus and John the Baptist
18John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19he sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’
20When the men came to Jesus, they said, ‘John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” ’
21At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, illnesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22So 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. 23Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.’
24After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is the one about whom it is written:
‘ “I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.”
28I tell you, among those born of women there is no-one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’
29(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptised by John. 30But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptised by John.)
31Jesus went on to say, ‘To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the market-place and calling out to each other:
‘ “We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.”
33For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, “He has a demon.” 34The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” 35But wisdom is proved right by all her children.’
Jesus anointed by a sinful woman
36When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.’
40Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’
‘Tell me, teacher,’ he said.
41‘Two people owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’
43Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’
‘You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said.
44Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.’
48Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’
49The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’
50Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’