Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son
11 Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him.
12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said,“Young man, I say to you, arise.”
15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”
17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
Many men and women have dwelt on this scene and I am thankful. Because of what others see, I have been able to see. For see is key here. We see the Master at His finest.
Thank you Master that you are fine. You are so worthy of our worship.
Jesus sees humanity and circumstances like no other I have observed on earth. He is divine in His seeing. Master make me like you.
Here we see Jesus approaching the city gate of Nain with a large crowd following. Coming out of the gate to the city is a funeral procession. The funeral procession is lead by a widow. The bier bears her only son–her last living relative. The one who had help provide for her up to this point since she lost her husband.
Mourners are at the head of the procession with the widow. A large crowd follows the servants carrying the bier.
Jesus approaches and he sees the widow. His heart is moved and he feels compassion. Jesus can put Himself in the shoes of another in the most tender way. He moves towards her–three simple words, “do not weep.”
What happens next is earth shaking but Jesus carries it out in a minimalist fashion. He moves to the bier and touches it. Touching the bier makes Him unclean but I believe it was His way of saying “law aside, this widow needs Me,” and speaks one other short sentence to accomplish the restoration that was needed. “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
The young man rose and spoke. Jesus delivers him to his mother.
The crowd was in awe and then moved to praise. They praise the God of Heaven that He had visited them.
What I take away from this scene is inspiring. With a large crowd following Him, Jesus could have been distracted by 1000 things instead He focused. He knows well the protocol for funeral processions and knew what was coming at Him. He picks out the mourners and focuses specifically on the relative at the head of the procession. He sees the pain and the hurt and is moved with compassion. Jesus sees the sense of loss and perhaps even desperation in the eyes of the widow. Her loss and her need move Him and He responds.
His concern is genuine. He resolves to do what moves all involved to a better place–simply raise the man. Reunite the son to his mother and everyone involved is transformed in some way. The mother and the son are ecstatic. The crowds are in awe of the miracle they just witnessed. Jesus preached a whole sermon without saying a word.
Here are other take aways from this scene: The manner of Jesus: he is aware. He is listening, looking and perceiving. He responds in genuine compassion which moves Him to help those who need Him. He demonstrates tremendous power in a very reserved manner. There is no flaunting of authority. He responds sincerely and with humility.
How I need the Spirit which He has given to be able to see, perceive, respond authentically in my heart, and then act as I am lead by Him. Make me that man. Make us your people. Allow us to see the way You see, to be moved in our hearts as You are, and to give of ourselves freely in serving those we are called to serve. Amen.