Lord Jesus, show me where I can serve you today. Where can I reflect and express the love that you have shown me?
Read LUKE 7:11-17
Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son
11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’1
It is easy to miss multiple important cultural themes in today’s story. This widow’s situation is serious – she has lost her husband and now her ‘only son’ (v 12) has died, her last means of support. She is probably past the age of childbearing and therefore will not marry again. Unless a relative comes to her aid, she will be left penniless and her future will be bleak. People will try to take advantage of her, and she may be reduced to begging for food to survive. Luke emphasizes how dire her situation is – she is exactly the kind of person Jesus has come to help. When Jesus sees her, Luke says, ‘His heart went out to her’ (v 13) – the Greek indicates an intense feeling of pity and compassion for someone.
The elaborate funeral procession is an important way to honor the dead in Jewish culture. Relatives follow the body through town, bystanders are expected to join, and hired mourners even cry aloud to draw attention to the spectacle. This explains the ‘large crowd’ (v 12) with the widow at this stage. Yet the throng of mourners will soon go home and she will be left destitute and alone. When Jesus tells her not to cry, he is recognizing her desperate situation and reassuring her that it will be okay.
When Jesus raises her son from the dead, he makes a point of giving him back to his mother. She and her dire situation are the focus throughout. Luke is saying that Jesus notices the broken and hopeless and is moved by their plight; so much so that he brings hope out of tragedy and restores the widow’s son to life. Are you in a hopeless situation, surrounded by tragedy? Jesus’ heart is moved for you in just the same way.
God cares for the details of our lives and intervenes miraculously. Replace the pain and tragedy of our lives with your hope today.
Thank you, Jesus, for your love and compassion shown so often in the New Testament. Thank you, too, for the evidence I see of your love in my own life, my family, and within my church.
Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by kingstar