When Jesus finished saying all these things to the people, he went to Capernaum.
There was an army officer who had a servant who was very important to him. The servant was so sick he was nearly dead.
When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some older Jewish leaders to him to ask Jesus to come and heal his servant.
The men went to Jesus and begged him, saying, "This officer is worthy of your help.
He loves our people, and he built us a synagogue."
So Jesus went with the men. He was getting near the officer's house when the officer sent friends to say, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, because I am not worthy to have you come into my house.
That is why I did not come to you myself. But you only need to command it, and my servant will be healed.
I, too, am a man under the authority of others, and I have soldiers under my command. I tell one soldier, 'Go,' and he goes. I tell another soldier, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and my servant does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, "I tell you, this is the greatest faith I have found anywhere, even in Israel."
Those who had been sent to Jesus went back to the house where they found the servant in good health.
Soon afterwards Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his followers and a large crowd traveled with him.
When he came near the town gate, he saw a funeral. A mother, who was a widow, had lost her only son. A large crowd from the town was with the mother while her son was being carried out.
When the Lord saw her, he felt very sorry for her and said, "Don't cry."
He went up and touched the coffin, and the people who were carrying it stopped. Jesus said, "Young man, I tell you, get up!"
And the son sat up and began to talk. Then Jesus gave him back to his mother.
All the people were amazed and began praising God, saying, "A great prophet has come to us! God has come to help his people."
This news about Jesus spread through all Judea and into all the places around there.
John's followers told him about all these things. He called for two of his followers
and sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?"
When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you with this question: 'Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?'"
At that time, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses, diseases, and evil spirits, and he gave sight to many blind people.
Then Jesus answered John's followers, "Go tell John what you saw and heard here. The blind can see, the crippled can walk, and people with skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor.
Those who do not stumble in their faith because of me are blessed!"
When John's followers left, Jesus began talking to the people about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reedn blown by the wind?
What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, people who have fine clothes and much wealth live in kings' palaces.
But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet.
This was written about him: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare the way for you.'
I tell you, John is greater than any other person ever born, but even the least important person in the kingdom of God is greater than John."
(When the people, including the tax collectors, heard this, they all agreed that God's teaching was good, because they had been baptized by John.
But the Pharisees and experts on the law refused to accept God's plan for themselves; they did not let John baptize them.)
Then Jesus said, "What shall I say about the people of this time? What are they like?
They are like children sitting in the marketplace, calling to one another and saying, 'We played music for you, but you did not dance; we sang a sad song, but you did not cry.'
John the Baptist came and did not eat bread or drink wine, and you say, 'He has a demon in him.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine, and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
But wisdom is proved to be right by what it does."
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, so Jesus went into the Pharisee's house and sat at the table.
A sinful woman in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house. So she brought an alabaster jar of perfume
and stood behind Jesus at his feet, crying. She began to wash his feet with her tears, and she dried them with her hair, kissing them many times and rubbing them with the perfume.
When the Pharisee who asked Jesus to come to his house saw this, he thought to himself, "If Jesus were a prophet, he would know that the woman touching him is a sinner!"
Jesus said to the Pharisee, "Simon, I have something to say to you." Simon said, "Teacher, tell me."
Jesus said, "Two people owed money to the same banker. One owed five hundred coinsn and the other owed fifty.
They had no money to pay what they owed, but the banker told both of them they did not have to pay him. Which person will love the banker more?"
Simon, the Pharisee, answered, "I think it would be the one who owed him the most money." Jesus said to Simon, "You are right."
Then Jesus turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I came into your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
You gave me no kiss of greeting, but she has been kissing my feet since I came in.
You did not put oil on my head, but she poured perfume on my feet.
I tell you that her many sins are forgiven, so she showed great love. But the person who is forgiven only a little will love only a little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The people sitting at the table began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Jesus said to the woman, "Because you believed, you are saved from your sins. Go in peace."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.