“How can I go on? I have nobody. First my husband, now, my son is dead. How can I go on?” The inconsolable widow was in a heap on the floor.
When the men brought the casket into the house she got up to watch. They carefully lifted the corpse and gently put it in its final resting place.
The widow stared at her son while the men stooped down and deftly hoisted the coffin to their shoulders. The widow’s tears flowed again as her son left her field of vision.
The magnetic draw compelled her to follow the coffin. The townsfolk fell in behind her as they made their way to the cemetery outside the city.
When they were past the city gate another crowd was coming up the road. The leader of that group approached the widow.
“Don’t cry.” Jesus’ eyes showed sympathy.
The widow watched as Jesus turned around and grabbed the coffin to stop the men’s momentum to finality.
Andrew stepped in front of the men. He held his hands in front of him with his palms down. He pumped his hands downward. “Set it down. Set it down.”
Jesus stepped beside the coffin and looked in. “Young man get up.”
The men around the coffin stepped back when the man sat up.
He looked around at his friends. “You guys aren’t going to believe the dream I just had. Remember Bart, you know, the kid who broke his neck falling off a wild camel. He says he’s having the time of his life.”
When he turned and saw Jesus he smiled. Jesus held out His hand and helped him out of the coffin. They walked over to his mother.
“Abba says he misses you something fierce, Mom.” She fell into his embrace as tears of joy replaced tears of remorse.
Both crowds erupted into spontaneous cheers and applause. “A great prophet is among us.”
Jesus placed a hand on the mother’s and son’s backs and patted His approval of their reunion.
The population of Nain flickered for one day as a young man stepped into Heaven briefly.
Luke 7:11-17 tells the story of Jesus stopping a funeral procession to show His power over death. I’m sure the speed and effortlessness of the act wasn’t expected by anybody.
By this time in Jesus’ earthly ministry He has a large crowd following Him around. His popularity has increased because He has performed quite a few miracles: demons have been cast out, a paralyzed man is made to walk, sick people are made well, even leprosy doesn’t stand a chance with this man.
The religious leaders of the day are shaking their heads at His teachings. This new doctrine of loving ones enemies and working on the Sabbath has ruffled their feathers. He even has the audacity to forgive people of their sins. How blasphemous can He get?
Jesus mission is to travel to as many towns as He can get to displaying His power so as many people as possible will see who He is: the promised Messiah of Israel.
As He and His large contingency are approaching the city of Nain another large crowd has formed a funeral procession to bury one of its residents. I’m pretty sure Luke wants us to know there were a LOT of people around as eyewitnesses to what is about to transpire.
Jesus briefly comforts the mother, quickly stops the procession, and easily places the soul back in the body. At the simple command of our Lord the young man’s rigor mortise vanishes, he sits up and starts talking immediately.
None of this is lost on the people who make up the crowds. They didn’t need the Pharisees around to explain that a miracle just took place. They knew this man was dead before Jesus showed up. And their Jewish minds were quickly reminded of that story of Elijah raising a widow’s son back to life. They knew they were in the presence of another prophet of God.
So, what about you? What’s it going to take for you to recognize who Jesus really is?
Admittedly, it would be much easier to believe He’s the miracle worker He is if He was walking with us and we could be eyewitnesses to these events. But, He is performing such miracles each and every day, even today.
Don’t believe me? Go into any church and get a group of firm believers together and ask them how they came to Christ. Their stories will amaze you as you hear the despair they came from and how Jesus lifted them out of it. You’ll hear about dead marriages, where one or both partners fell out of love, and how Jesus brought new life back and restored them to a better place than they were before.
Miraculous physical healings still take place, too. I just read about a young woman who was taken off life support recently and wasn’t given any hope of surviving. There was no reason to think she could ever live with the level that her organs had shut down. Shortly before she was released from the hospital one doctor admitted: “We did nothing. God gave her a heart transplant. It shouldn’t be working now, but it’s healthy.”
So, you see, God is still in the miracle business. So, “Why,” you ask, “did Jesus decide to bring this woman’s son back to life? Why didn’t he keep my husband from dying in that car accident he suffered from that drunk driver?” There’s no answer I can give you that will ease your suffering at this time. But, I do have an answer for you.
The reason Jesus chose to give life back to this man in the Bible and not your family member is because He chose to. God doesn’t answer to anybody. That’s why faith is such a big part of the equation.
Life is taken one step at a time. Walk with Jesus and He’ll give you hope for the journey.
I’ll see you later. Wade