I praise You, Lord, for this visit with me each day. I am glad to be with You now.
Read LUKE 7:11-17
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Let us trust beyond seeing, risk beyond laughing, yield beyond calculating” (Walter Brueggemann).
Luke here gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ response to an intensely personal human tragedy. Picture the funeral procession. The main character is a local widow who, having already lost her husband, now had the heartbreak of the death of her only son whom she would probably not have expected to outlive. He had probably died that day, as it was the custom to bury people immediately. She’s accompanied by a large crowd from Nain, typically including official mourners and people tearing their clothes in grief. The heat is beating down, the many feet kick up the dust, and the air is full of the sound of lament both heartfelt and professional. Then coming towards them is Jesus. He too is surrounded–by his disciples and an equally large crowd eager to see what wonders he’ll perform.
Feel the compassion and tenderness in “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her” (13). This was a life-changing moment. Defying religious taboos he touched the open coffin, thus risking his reputation in the eyes of the watchers by making himself ritually unclean. Imagine the intake of breath as Jesus spoke directly to the dead boy and the incredulous gasps when the boy then sat up in his coffin!
This is the first of three recorded instances (Luke 8:40-56; John 11:38-44) of Jesus raising the dead, and only Luke includes it. Not only does Jesus have healing power that can be exercised at a distance, but he now shows his power over death. This act, rich in symbolism, demonstrates that he is truly Lord of all. His promise of resurrection life (John 14:1-3) means that, unlike many, we as Christians don’t need to fear death. Rather, we can have abundant life now and can die well too.
Give thanks for the hospice movement, started by Christians. Pray for terminally ill patients and their families that they too might know the Lord’s heart go out to them.
Comforting Lord, thank You for Your heart that reaches out to me. As I have received Your comfort, enable me to share it with others.