Translation Chapter 7

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu) heals a centurion’s[1]servant

After ‘Īsā had finished saying all these things in the hearing of the crowd, he went to Kfar Nāhūm. 2 A centurion there had a servant who was ill and about to die, and this servant was highly valued by his master. 3 Having heard about ‘Īsā, the centurion sent some elders of the Jews to ask him to come and heal his servant.

4 When they came to ‘Īsā, they pleaded with him earnestly, ‘This man deserves to have you grant his request. 5He loves our nation, and he’s the one who built the synagogue for us.’ 6 So ‘Īsā went with them.

When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, ‘Master, don’t trouble yourself. I don’t deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That’s why I didn’t think myself worthy to come to you. But just give the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I myself am a man placed under authority, and I have soldiers under me. So I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another man, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’

9 When he heard this,‘Īsā was amazed at the centurion. He turned to the crowd following him and said, ‘I tell you, I have not found faith as strong as this, even among the Ban-i Isrā’īl.’

10 Then the people who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant in good health.

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)raises a dead man to life

11 Soon after this, ‘Īsā went to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12As he drew near 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. A sizable crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, he was moved with compassion for her and said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’

14 He came and touched the bier[2]. Those who were carrying it stood still. Then he said, ‘Young man, I tell you, get up!’

15 The dead man sat up and began to speak[3], and ‘Īsā gave him back to his mother.

16 Everyone was filled with awe, and they praised Allah saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us. Allah has shown his concern for his people.’

17 Word about ‘Īsā spread round the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)asks if Sayyidnā ‘Īsā (hpbuu)is al-Masīh

18 Now Yahyā’s disciples reported all these things to Yahyā[4]. So he called two of them 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the One who is going to come[5], or should we expect someone else?’

20 When they came to ‘Īsā, the men said, ‘Yahyā who gave ritual washing[6]sent us to you to ask; are you the One who is going to come,or should we expect someone else?’

21At that time ‘Īsā healed many with diseases, illnesses and jinn[7], and he gave sight to many blind people. 22 So he replied to them, ‘Go and tell Yahyā what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor hear the good news[8].23 Blessed is anyone who does not take offence at me.’

24After Yahyā’s messengers had left, ‘Īsā began to speak to the crowds about Yahyā, ‘What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Look, those who are clothed in luxury and splendour live in palaces. 26So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Certainly, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 He is the one about whom it is written,

            “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

 who will prepare your way before you.”[9]

28 ‘I tell you, there is no one born of woman who is greater than Yahyā. Yet the least important person in the kingdom of Allah[10]is greater than he.’

29 All the people who heard, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the righteousness of Allah, because they had received ritual washing from Yahyā. 30But the Pharisees[11]and the experts in sharī’ah (revealed to Prophet Mūsā) rejected the purpose of Allah for themselves by not receiving ritual washing from Yahyā.[12]

31‘Īsā continued, ‘To what, then, shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the market place and calling out to each other, “We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance; we mourned and you didn’t weep.” 33For Yahyā who gave ritual washing has come neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, “He has a jinn[13]”.34The Son of Man[14]has come eating and drinking and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors[15]and sinners!” 35 But wisdom is proved to be right by all her children[16].’

At the home of Simon the Pharisee

36 One of the Pharisees asked ‘Īsā to eat with him, so he went to the home of the Pharisee and reclined[17]at the meal.

37 Now there was a woman in that town who had lived a sinful life. When she heard that ‘Īsā was reclining at the house of the Pharisee, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and stood behind his feet weeping, and began to wet his feet with her tears[18]. Then she began drying them with her hair, kissing his feet and anointing them with the perfume.

39The Pharisee who had invited him saw this and said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what sort of woman this is – that she’s a sinner.’

40 In response, ‘Īsā said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’

‘Tell me, teacher,’ he said.

41 ‘Two people were in debt to a money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii[19], the other fifty. 42 Neither of them were able to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Which of them will love him more?’

43 Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled.’

‘Īsā said to him, ‘You are right.’ 44 Then turning to the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your home. You didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You didn’t give me a kiss, but she, from the time I came here, hasn’t stopped kissing my feet. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with olive oil, but she anointed my feet with perfume[20].47 Therefore I tell you; her many sins have been forgiven, that’s why she showed much love. But the one who is forgiven little loves little.’

48 Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’

49 Those who were at the meal with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’

50 ‘Īsā said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’

 

[1]The centurion was a Roman soldier, an officer over 100 soldiers. He was also a ‘Gentile’, meaning a non-Jew. Normally, relations between Jews and Romans were not good, but this centurion had earned the respect of the Jews.

[2]Or ‘coffin’. According to the Taurāt, contact with a dead body made a person unclean for seven days. After the seven days, he or she needed to follow a purification ritual to become clean (see Taurāt, Numbers 19:11-13).

[3]  See Qur’an, Āl-’Imrān3:49, where al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)says, ‘And I will heal the blind and the leper and give life to the dead by God’s Leave’. See also, Qur’an, al-Mā’idah 5:110.

Compare also the miracles of the Prophets Ilyās and Al-Yasa’ (pbut), who both raised dead sons to life and gave them back to their mothers (1stBook of Kings 17:20-22, 2ndBook of Kings 4:32-35). However, they both prayed to the Allah SWT who answered their du’ā; ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)simply commands the dead man to get up – and he does!

[4]At that time, Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)was in the prison of King Herod (see 3:20).

[5]By this he means al-Masīh (the Messiah) whom the Jews were waiting for (see Appendix C, ‘The Title: “Al-Masīh”‘). Indeed, Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)had introduced Sayyidnā ‘Īsā (hpbuu)to the Ban-i Isrā’īl (Injīl, John 1:29-34). His current doubt was probably due to the fact that Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)expected al-Masīh to win victory over Ban-i Isrā’īl’s enemies and bring in justice immediately (including getting Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)out of prison!), and Prophet ‘Īsā (hpbuu)did not seem to be fulfilling that expectation. However, Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)responds to his doubt in the right way: he speaks to Sayyidnā ‘Īsā (hpbuu)about it.

[6]ProphetYahyā’s ritual washing was ‘a ritual washing of tauba for the forgiveness of sins’ (3:3). See also v29, 30, 33.

[7]Or ‘evil spirits’

[8]These were signs of al-Masīh (hpbuu); earlier prophets had foretold that al-Masīh would do these things when he came:

                  ‘Be strong, don’t be afraid,

                   Here is your God!

He will come with vengeance,

                   with the retribution of Allah.

He will come and save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind will be opened

                   and the ears of the deaf enabled to hear.

Then the lame will leap like a deer,

                   and the tongue that is unable to speak will shout for joy. (Book of the Prophet Isaiah 35:4-6)

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORDis on me,

                   because the LORDhas anointed me
                   to tell good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,
                   to proclaim freedom to the captives
                   and release to the prisoners
, (Book of the Prophet Isaiah 61:1)

See also Qur’an, Āl-’Imrān3:49, where ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)says, ‘And I will heal the blind and the leper and give life to the dead by God’s Leave’. See also, Qur’an, al-Mā’idah 5:110.

[9]SeeBook of the ProphetMalachi 3:1.

[10]See Appendix D, ‘The Kingdom of Allah’.

[11]The Pharisees were a devout Jewish religious sect. They believed in the resurrection of the dead and were waiting for the rule or kingdom of Allah to come, when Allah would put all wrongs to right. They emphasised the keeping of sharī’ah (revealed to Prophet Mūsā[pbuh]), and also insisted on keeping many traditions of the ulemā (rabbis) which are not in the Taurāt. Also v36, 37, 39.

[12]It is possible that v29-30 should be included in the quotation by ‘Īsā al-Masīh(hpbuu).

[13]Or ‘demon’.

[14]‘The Son of Man’ is a title al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)often used for himself. For more details, see Appendix E, ‘The Title: “the Son of Man”‘.

[15]Tax collectors were regarded as ‘sinners’ by many Jews, because they worked for the Romans who were occupying Palestine, and were thus regarded as traitors. They were also often greedy and corrupt.

‘sinners’ here, refers to people who lived particularly immoral lives and those who were uninstructed in the sharī’ah revealed to Prophet Mūsā (pbuh).

[16]  This means that Allah’s wisdom will be vindicated or proved to be right through her children, who are those who believe Allah’s message that came through the Prophet Yahyā (pbuh)and al-Masīh ‘Īsā(hpbuu).

[17](Also v37) In the Palestinian culture of the time people reclined at meals; meaning they lay on their left side, leaning on their left arm, leaving the right hand free to eat with. Their feet were behind them, facing away from the food and the other guests. This explains how the woman had access to ‘Īsā al-Masīh’s feet in v38.

[18]In that culture, meals were often held in open spaces such as a courtyard, veranda, or in a room with the doors open. Thus, people who were not invited could come and watch. This woman would definitely not have been invited.

[19]One denarius was the daily wage for a day labourer.

[20]In that culture, normal hospitality included providing guests with water to wash their feet after the journey, greeting guests with a kiss, and sometimes, anointing their heads with olive oil.