What does Luke 7:36 mean?
ESV: One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee 's house and reclined at table.
NIV: When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
NASB: Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to eat with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
CSB: Then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
NLT: One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.
KJV: And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
NKJV: Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.
Verse Commentary:
In this passage, Luke provides a practical application of Jesus' dissertation on John the Baptist (Luke 7:24–28). This comes in the form of faithful, loving, culturally scandalous actions of a repentant woman. It hinges on her reputation for sin and the dismissive, vague judgmentalism of a Pharisee. Jesus told a crowd that the tax collectors and sinners who accepted John's call for repentance are more pleasing to God than the Pharisees and scribes who refused (Luke 7:29–34). This event provides a real-life example.

Luke does not name the city where the Pharisee lives. However, the term "of the city" (Luke 7:37) fits with the description of "a town called Nain" (Luke 7:11). It's possible the Pharisee invites Jesus to a banquet because He raised a dead man (Luke 7:14–15). However, news of that miracle spread "through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country" (Luke 7:17), so this isn't proof they're in Nain.

We know this is a banquet because Jesus reclines at the table. At family meals, people would sit; at more formal affairs, they would stretch out, resting their head on the left arm and eating with their right hand with their feet away from the table. Guests would eat and sometimes engage in philosophical discussions. Local people were welcome to enter through the open door, stand against the walls, and quietly listen.

Jesus has no problem accepting the invitations of Pharisees, but they quickly realize Jesus' status as a guest does not mean He will be subservient to the hosts. In Luke 11:37–54, a Pharisee verbally corrects Jesus for not washing His hands. Jesus responds with His own rebuke of the Pharisees' and scribes' abusive legalism. In Luke 14:1–6, Jesus dines at the home of a ruler of the Pharisees on the Sabbath and sees a man in need of healing. While healing the man, Jesus points out they would do no less for an ox.

Earlier, Jesus dined with the tax collector Matthew. The Pharisees criticized Him for eating with cultural outcasts and offenders. Yet Jesus dismissed them by saying, "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:29–32). Ironically, even when Jesus is reclining at the home of a Pharisee, a sinner finds Him (Luke 7:37). The Pharisee should not be surprised when the "sick" find the "Physician" (Luke 5:31).
Verse Context:
Luke 7:36–38 presents a repentant woman who understands she is forgiven. Like those baptized by John, she proves that those forgiven of their sins respond with love for God (Luke 7:29–35). This is a truth the watching Pharisee doesn't understand (Luke 7:39–50). This woman is like the widow of Nain: helpless in the face of evil and relying completely on Jesus for rescue (Luke 7:11–17). This is not the same event as Matthew 26:6–13, Mark 14:3–9, or John 12:1–8.
Chapter Summary:
Luke 7 presents a chiasm: a set of themes mirrored around a reflection point. The humble centurion (Luke 7:1–10) contrasts the legalistic Pharisee (Luke 7:39–50). The widow of Nain (Luke 7:11–17) and the sinful women (Luke 7:36–38) have nothing to offer but gratitude for Jesus' blessings. In the center are John the Baptist and his disciples who struggle to trust that Jesus is worth following (Luke 7:18–23), then the sinners who do choose to follow Jesus and the religious leaders who refuse (Luke 7:24–35).
Chapter Context:
Luke 7 continues Jesus' mission primarily to the people of Galilee expressed as a series of pointed events and teachings punctuated by calls to follow Him. He has finished teaching the rigors of discipleship (Luke 6:17–45) and invited the crowd to place their faith in Him (Luke 6:46–49). Here, Luke describes different reactions to Jesus' miracles and message. Next, Jesus will reveal the mechanics of and reactions to His call (Luke 8:4–21) before showing His great authority over nature, demons, sickness, and worldly powers (Luke 8:22—9:17). After a final call to the disciples to deepen their faith (Luke 9:18–50), Jesus will turn toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51—19:27).
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
Accessed 6/16/2024 3:17:50 AM
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