The faith of a pagan
(Mt 8:5; Jn 4:46)
• 1 When Jesus had finished teaching in this way to the people, he went to Capernaum.
2 There was a captain whose servant was very sick and near to death, a man very dear to him. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to persuade him to come and save his servant’s life. 4 The elders came to Jesus and begged him earnestly, saying, 5 “He deserves this of you, for he loves our people and even built a synagogue for us.”
6 Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the captain sent friends to give this message, “Sir, do not trouble yourself for I am not worthy to welcome you under my roof. 7 You see I didn’t approach you myself. Just give the order and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers and I say to this one: ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to the other: ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant: ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
9 On hearing these words, Jesus was filled with admiration. He turned and said to the people with him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” 10 The people sent by the captain went back to his house; there they found that the servant was well.
The son of a widow restored to life
• 11 A little later Jesus went to a town called Naim and many of his disciples went with him – a great number of people. 12 As he reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.
13 On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he came up and touched the stretcher and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, awake, I tell you.” 15 And the dead man got up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 A holy fear came over them all and they praised God saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.” 17 This news spread out in the Jewish country and the surrounding places.
Jesus answers the messengers of John
• 18 The disciples of John gave him all this news. So he called two of them and 19 sent them to the Lord with this message, “Are you the one we are expecting, or should we wait for another?” 20 These men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask you: Are you the one we are to expect, or should we wait for another?”
21 At that time Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses or diseases; he freed them from evil spirits and he gave sight to the blind. 22 Then he answered the messengers, “Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor are given good news. Now, listen: 23 Fortunate are those who encounter me, but not for their downfall.”
• 24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began speaking to the people about John. And he said, “What did you want to see when you went to the desert? A tall reed blowing in the wind? 25 What was there to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? But people who wear fine clothes and enjoy delicate food are found in palaces. 26 What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 For John is the one foretold in Scripture in these words: I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare your ways. 28 No one may be found greater than John among those born of women but, I tell you, the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
29 All the people listening to him, even the tax collectors, had acknowledged the will of God in receiving the baptism of John, 30 whereas the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, in not letting themselves be baptized by him, ignored the will of God.
31 What comparison can I use for this people? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We piped you a tune and you wouldn’t dance; we sang funeral songs and you wouldn’t cry.’
33 Remember John: he didn’t eat bread or drink wine, and you said: ‘He has an evil spirit.’ 34 Next came the Son of Man, eating and drinking, and you say: ‘Look, a glutton for food and wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But the children of Wisdom always recognize her work.”
Jesus, the woman and the Pharisee
• 36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to share his meal, so he went to the Pharisee’s home and as usual reclined on the sofa to eat. 37 And it happened that a woman of this town, who was known as a sinner, heard that he was in the Pharisee’s house. She brought a precious jar of perfume 38 and stood behind him at his feet, weeping. She wet his feet with tears, she dried them with her hair and kissed his feet and poured the perfume on them.
39 The Pharisee who had invited Jesus was watching and thought, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what sort of person is touching him; isn’t this woman a sinner?”
40 Then Jesus spoke to the Pharisee and said, “Simon, I have something to ask you.” He answered, “Speak, master.” And Jesus said, 41 “Two people were in debt to the same creditor. One owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other fifty. 42 As they were unable to pay him back, he graciously canceled the debts of both. Now, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, who was forgiven more.” And Jesus said, “You are right.” 44 And turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? 45 You gave me no water for my feet when I entered your house, but she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You didn’t welcome me with a kiss, but she has not stopped kissing my feet since she came in. 46 You provided no oil for my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 This is why, I tell you, her sins, her many sins, are forgiven, because of her great love. But the one who is forgiven little, has little love.”
48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The others sitting with him at the table began to wonder, “Now this man claims to forgive sins!” 50 But Jesus again spoke to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”