A Gentile, a widow, and a prostitute… No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke but a reminder of the power of Jesus – the power that lives within you.
The Gentile – despised by Israel. A good Jewish Rabbi would never consider entering the house of a Gentile; yet Jesus was willing to go. And then Jesus had the audacity to praise the Gentile’s faith. “I have not seen such faith in all of Israel.” Jesus in that one statement was breaking thousands of years of distrust, years of hatred. And just like that, a Gentile was healed and a door opened so that you and I could receive the Gospel.
The Widow – Distraught, dismayed, hopeless, she walked in the funeral procession. Jesus saw her. He had compassion upon her. Then once again He did the unthinkable. He touched the coffin and commanded death to let go of the young man. A good Jewish Rabbi would never touch a coffin. It would make him unclean. Once again Jesus was breaking tradition and introducing a new realization. The power of God within us is greater than the world. Now, we touch the unclean and make it clean. Jesus gave the widow back her son, demonstrating the power of God is greater than the power of death.
The prostitute – Despite her past, despite her life choices, she had the bravery to openly and publicly worship Jesus. And yet again, Jesus broke tradition. He allowed the “sinner”, the prostitute to touch Him. “What kind of Prophet would allow such a woman to touch him?” The kind with the power to forgive, to accept, to love. She came a sinner, she left forgiven. She came rejected; she left accepted. She came after finding love in all the wrong places only to find true and pure love in Him. Jesus welcomed and forgave this woman, demonstrating no one is beyond God’s power to redeem.
Three stories. One theme. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, to break the dividing wall between races, to accept the unacceptable, to redeem the worse of sinners, to love a broken world, to redeem, to restore, to set free.
“So 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.”
Luke 7:22 NIV