Jesus’ Life and Ministry
Jesus Dispels a Widow’s Grief
SHORTLY after healing the army officer’s servant, Jesus leaves for Nain, a city over 20 miles (32 km) to the southwest of Capernaum. His disciples and a great crowd accompany him. It is probably toward evening that they approach the outskirts of Nain, where they meet a funeral procession. The dead body of a young man is being carried out of the city for burial.
The mother’s situation is especially tragic, since she is a widow and this is her only child. When her husband died, she could take comfort in the fact that she had her son. Her hopes, desires, and ambitions became wrapped up in his future. But now there is no one in whom to find consolation. Her grief is great as the townspeople accompany her to the place of burial.
When Jesus catches sight of the woman, his heart is touched by her extreme sadness. So with tenderness, and yet with a firmness that imparts confidence, he says to her: “Stop weeping.” His manner and action arrest the crowd’s attention. So when he approaches and touches the bier on which the body is being carried, the bearers stand still. All must wonder what he is going to do.
It is true that those accompanying Jesus have seen him miraculously heal many persons of diseases. But apparently they have never seen him raise anyone from the dead. Can he do such a thing? Addressing the corpse, Jesus commands: “Young man, I say to you, Get up!” And the man sits up! He starts to speak, and Jesus gives him to his mother.
When the people see that the young man truly is alive, they begin to say: “A great prophet has been raised up among us.” Others say: “God has turned his attention to his people.” Quickly the news concerning this amazing deed spreads out into all Judea and all the surrounding country.
John the Baptizer is still in prison. But his disciples report to him about all these things they see Jesus doing. What is John’s response? And what is the response of so many others in the areas in which Jesus performs his miracles? Our next issue will answer. Luke 7:11-18.
◆ What is happening as Jesus approaches Nain?
◆ How is Jesus affected by what he sees, and what does he do?
◆ How do the people respond to Jesus’ miracle?