BY: BRITNEY PALMA
BIBLE TEXT: Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. –Luke 7:11-15 (NLT)
PERSONAL REFLECTION: At first glance, one can assume the purpose of this passage is to provide us with the historical element of the miraculous raising of the widow’s son. The crowd gathered as Christ spoke words of life into the child, creating a whirlwind of awe and wonder that spread throughout the village. We can get caught up in the miracle of the passage and we may very well miss the main point. Compassion. Jesus had been moved by the desperate state of the widow. Historically, in ancient Israel, when a woman became widowed all the possessions and/or land acquired through her husband were to be returned to her husband’s family unless there was an heir to the estate – a male child. If the widow’s husband passed prior to bearing children or if an heir (a son) had not been born, the woman’s right to her belongings were forfeited.
The well being of these women were then subjected to the charity of others. Many viewed widows, orphans, and foreigners as an economic burden, and therefore, causing many to despise the presence of those in need. In her case, her husband had passed and now she had lost her only son. The grief from losing a child is unimaginable and only those who have walked through this pain know the depths of its despair. With this grief, she would now bear the burden of loneliness with the constant reminder of her state of need by the dependence of charity by others. She would be despised and rejected by many with the sentence of banishment to a life of hopelessness. This is where Jesus steps in. He felt the piercing pain in his heart that had plagued the widow. He could see the hope slipping away with every step she made towards her son’s tomb. Fear and anxiety clung to her robes as she pressed on through the tears.
The miracle had been in response to the compassion for the widow. Jesus did not simply pass by. He took on her problem as his own. His desire had been to heal her broken heart and restore hope. The child returning from death is miraculous indeed! But, the unsung miracle is that of Jesus meeting her needs in every situation while taking on her burdens as his own.
Thank you for reminding me of your love. I have been known to cry out for miracles during desperate situations, while failing to acknowledge your presence of peace and reassurance. I have been guilty of demanding change without appreciating your intimate involvement of every aspect of my life. Forgive me Lord, and help me to see your hands at work prior to the miracle so that I may not become distracted by the worries and fears of life, but yet proclaim just exactly who you are and your greatness to those around me. Father, thank you for all the “second chances to the second chances” to get it right.
In Jesus Holy Name,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My name is Britney and I currently live in Hermitage. My husband, Andres, and I have 3 kids and a dog: Donavan, Chloe, and Serenity. Luna is our dog. She is a Lab/Husky mix. We love soccer and when it’s nice outside you can find us at the fields kicking the ball around. Other hobbies of mine are trying to cook, running in the early morning hours, reading, and just hanging out on the front porch with friends and family. Thank you for taking time to learn a little about me.