When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went back to Capernaum.
Now the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death.
When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish leaders to ask him to come and heal his slave.
So they earnestly begged Jesus to come with them and help the man. "If anyone deserves your help, it is he," they said,
"for he loves the Jews and even built a synagogue for us."
So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, "Lord, don't trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor.
I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.
I know because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, 'Go,' and they go, or 'Come,' and they come. And if I say to my slaves, 'Do this or that,' they do it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd, he said, "I tell you, I haven't seen faith like this in all the land of Israel!"
And when the officer's friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed.
Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, with a great crowd following him.
A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The boy who had died was the only son of a widow, and many mourners from the village were with her.
When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. "Don't cry!" he said.
Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. "Young man," he said, "get up."
Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk to those around him! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, "A mighty prophet has risen among us," and "We have seen the hand of God at work today."
The report of what Jesus had done that day spread all over Judea and even out across its borders.
The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples,
and he sent them to the Lord to ask him, "Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?"
John's two disciples found Jesus and said to him, "John the Baptist sent us to ask, 'Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?'"
At that very time, he cured many people of their various diseases, and he cast out evil spirits and restored sight to the blind.
Then he told John's disciples, "Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard -- the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.
And tell him, 'God blesses those who are not offended by me.'"
After they left, Jesus talked to the crowd about John. "Who is this man in the wilderness that you went out to see? Did you find him weak as a reed, moved by every breath of wind?
Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people who wear beautiful clothes and live in luxury are found in palaces, not in the wilderness.
Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet.
John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say, 'Look, I am sending my messenger before you, and he will prepare your way before you.'
I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the most insignificant person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!"
When they heard this, all the people, including the unjust tax collectors, agreed that God's plan was right, for they had been baptized by John.
But the Pharisees and experts in religious law had rejected God's plan for them, for they had refused John's baptism.
"How shall I describe this generation?" Jesus asked. "With what will I compare them?
They are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, 'We played wedding songs, and you weren't happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren't sad.'
For John the Baptist didn't drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, 'He's demon possessed.'
And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!'
But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it."
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat.
A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume.
Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, "This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!"
Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you." "All right, Teacher," Simon replied, "go ahead."
Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people -- five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other.
But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?"
Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt." "That's right," Jesus said.
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You didn't give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in.
You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
I tell you, her sins -- and they are many -- have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."
Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."
The men at the table said among themselves, "Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?"
And Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."