googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Luke 7:11-17: A funny thing happened on the way to Nain

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Luke 7:11-17: A funny thing happened on the way to Nain



Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 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. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
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!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
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.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Luke 7:11-17

Besides His own resurrection, there are three other times recorded in the Bible where Jesus raised someone from the dead. The resurrection of Lazarus usually gets the most press but it's hard to say that one resurrection could somehow be more “impressive” than any other. As far as life lessons, it's my opinion that this account, where Jesus raised the widow's son at Nain, paints the most remarkable picture of a relationship with Jesus.

In the early, first century, being a widow was especially difficult. The usual trades of people in this area – fishing, farming, and shepherding – were often too physically demanding for an older woman. What's worse, Roman and Jewish laws concerning property rights favored men. Women often could not defend themselves against aggressive creditors nor thieves.

When a man died, the role of leadership would fall to the oldest son.  Since this woman is identified as a widow, she certainly would have already come to rely on her son. Now her son – her only son – had died also. She had virtually lost everything. As she led the procession to bury him, she not only mourned the loss of someone she loved, she also must have been worrying about her own fate.

Then Jesus came along.

Just as the widow had a large crowd following her, Jesus also had a large crowd following Him. It's very likely, too, that in the crowd that followed Jesus, there were some widows. There were probably also some people who had lost sons and daughters. In many ways, the crowds resembled each other. They would have both had men and women, old people and young, and widows and orphans. The primary difference between the two groups is that one followed Jesus and the other didn't.

It's hard to not compare these two groups to the saved and the lost. In most ways, Christian's lives are not significantly different than unbelievers'. Matthew 5:45 affirms that God sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. When we become saved, we're not promised a life of ease. We face all the same trials that the lost face. The difference is, we now have Jesus.

Look at the differences Jesus made at Nain:

One group was sad; the other group was happy.
One group mourned someone who had lost everything; the other group celebrated the One who had made everything.
One group had seen sick people die; the other group had seen sick people healed.
One group was on their way to a tomb; the other group was on their way to a resurrection!

What a difference Jesus makes! The widow was on her way to bury her son and Jesus was on His way to raise him to life again.

When we face trials, we should never despair because we don't face them alone. I'll leave you with the words of John 16:33:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

3 comments:

Todd Williams said...

Good stuff!

Jacques Laguerre said...

Hey I would like to use the picture of the Widow at Nain in a PPT that I'm going to share for a church. Is it copyrighted?

RKBentley said...

Jacques,

The pic isn't mine originally. I don't remember where I copied it from. I get most of my pics off Google Images.

For the record, I do not claim copyright to any material on my blog. I want people to share it freely.

God bless.

RKBentley