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Jesus Resurrects a Widow’s Son

Jesus Resurrects a Widow’s Son

LUKE 7:11-17


Soon after healing the army officer’s servant, Jesus leaves Capernaum for Nain, a city over 20 miles (32 km) to the southwest. He is not alone. His disciples and a great crowd travel with him. It is likely toward evening when they approach the outskirts of Nain. There they encounter a considerable number of Jews in a funeral procession. The dead body of a young man is being carried out of the city for burial.

The most grief-stricken among them is the mother of the young man. She is a widow, and now her only child has died. When her husband died, at least she still had her beloved son with her. Imagine how close she must have felt to him, for her hopes and her security for the future were tied up with him. Now he too has died. Who is there left to provide her with company and support?

When Jesus sees this woman, his heart is touched by her extreme grief and the sadness of her situation. Tenderly and yet with assurance that imparts confidence, he tells her: “Stop weeping.” Yet, he does more. He approaches and touches the bier on which the body is being carried. (Luke 7:13, 14) His manner and actions are such that the mourning townspeople stop in their tracks. ‘What does he mean, and what is he going to do?’ many must wonder.

And what of those traveling with Jesus who have seen him perform powerful works, healing many diseases? They apparently have never seen Jesus resurrect anyone from the dead. Although resurrections did occur in the distant past, can Jesus do such a thing? (1 Kings 17:17-23; 2 Kings 4:32-37) Jesus gives the command: “Young man, I say to you, get up!” (Luke 7:14) And that happens. The man sits up and starts to speak! Jesus gives him to his shocked yet overjoyed mother. She is no longer alone.

When the people see that the young man truly is alive, they praise the Life-Giver, Jehovah, saying: “A great prophet has been raised up among us.” Others grasp the significance of Jesus’ wonderful deed, saying: “God has turned his attention to his people.” (Luke 7:16) The news of this amazing thing quickly spreads into the surrounding country and likely to Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, some six miles (10 km) away. The report even spreads down south into Judea.

John the Baptist is still in prison, and he is very interested in the works that Jesus is able to perform. John’s disciples tell him about these miracles. How does he respond?