Have you ever experienced the greatest pain there is? Are you aware of this pain that so many people suffer from? The strange excruciating pain of the loss of a child.
In this story we are going to meet a widow who lost her only son. Can you appreciate her plight? She lost her husband and her son, het only child died. But in this story Jesus comes and resurrect her only son.
On the one hand she tasted the deepest, the most excruciating, destructive pain. But on the other hand she experienced that greatest joy ever – the resurrection of her beloved child.
My prayer for you who have lost a child is that you too will see the resurrection of your child. Imagination is not capable to grasp this near future coming joy
Luke 7:11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.
Here begins the second great missionary journey through the towns and villages of Galilee, probably during the early autumn of AD 29.
Jesus formally inaugurated the kingdom of divine grace with the appointment of the Twelve. He proclaimed the fundamental law and purpose of the kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount.
Christ now set forth on His second tour through Galilee to demonstrate by precept and example the nature of His kingdom and the scope of its benefits to mankind.
On the second tour, Jesus demonstrated His power over death, over the elements of nature, and over evil spirits; and in the series of parables set forth the principles of the kingdom of heaven and its operation among men.
On this tour the Twelve, as His assistants, received a priceless training in methods of evangelism, a training which soon, in the third tour, they had the opportunity to put into practice.
Let’s visit the little village of Nain for a moment:
There is but one approach to the village, along a steep and rocky path (see DA 318) that comes in from the east. Just east of the village is a rock hewn burial ground still in use today.
It was an exceptional experience for me to have visited the modern village of Nain.
Let’s visit this little chapel and see what is inside.
Luke 7:12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.
This marks the first occasion in the gospel narrative when the Lord of life came face to face with death and triumphed over it.
Their sympathy was met by the sympathy of the great Life-giver.
Luke 7:13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
No petition arose from her heart. But in His sympathy for suffering humanity Jesus answered the unuttered prayer, as He does so often for us today.
Luke 7:14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
a “bier” was made of wickerwork
Luke 7:15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
I wonder what this young man was saying. What do you think?
How did the mourners react?
Luke 7:16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
Luke 7:17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.
About 50 kilometres from Capernaum, on a tableland overlooking the wide, beautiful plain of Esdraelon, lay the village of Nain. Jesus was going to perform an amazing miracle there.
Many of His disciples and others were with Him, and all along the way the people came, longing for His words of love and pity, bringing their sick for His healing, and ever with the hope that He who wielded such wondrous power would make Himself known as the King of Israel.
A multitude thronged His steps, and it was a glad, expectant company that followed Him up the rocky path toward the gate of the mountain village.
As they draw near, a funeral train is seen coming from the gates. With slow, sad steps it is proceeding to the place of burial. On an open coffin carried in front is the body of the dead, and about it are the mourners, filling the air with their wailing cries.
It was a sight that awoke sympathy. The deceased was the only son of his mother, and she a widow. The lonely mourner was following to the grave her sole earthly support and comfort.
“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her.”
As she moved on blindly, weeping, noting not His presence, He came close beside her, and gently said, “Weep not.” Jesus was about to change her grief to joy, yet He could not forbear this expression of tender sympathy.
“He came and touched the bier;” to Him even contact with death could impart no defilement. The bearers stood still, and the lamentations of the mourners ceased. The two companies gathered about the bier, hoping against hope. One was present who had banished disease and vanquished demons; was death also subject to His power?
In clear, authoritative voice the words are spoken, “”Young man, I say to you, arise.” That voice pierces the ears of the dead. The young man opens his eyes. Jesus takes him by the hand and lifts him up. His gaze falls upon her who has been weeping beside him, and mother and son unite in a long, clinging, joyous embrace.
The multitude look on in silence, as if spellbound. “There came a fear on all.” Hushed and reverent they stood for a little time, as if in the very presence of God. Then they “glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited His people.”
The funeral train returned to Nain as a triumphal procession. “And this rumour of Him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.”
He who stood beside the sorrowing mother at the gate of Nain, watches with every mourning one beside a coffin. He is touched with sympathy for our grief. His heart, that loved and pitied, is a heart of unchangeable tenderness. His word, that called the dead to life, is no less capable now than when spoken to the young man of Nain. He says,
“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18. That power is not diminished by the lapse of years, nor exhausted by the ceaseless activity of His overflowing grace. To all who believe on Him He is still a living Saviour.
Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power. God is saying to all who are dead in sin, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” Ephesians 5:14. That word is eternal life.
Every Christian who mourns the loss of dear ones can find consolation in the compassion Jesus felt for the widow of Nain, and has the privilege of comfort in the fact that the same Jesus still “watches with every mourning one beside the bier” (DA 319).
He who holds in His hands the keys of death and the grave (Rev. 1:18) will one day break the bonds that bind His loved ones and set them forever free from the clutches of this great enemy of the human race (see 1 Cor. 15:26; 2 Tim. 1:10).
And “if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Romans 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This is the word of comfort wherewith He bids us comfort one another.