DayBreaks for 5/12/20: The Compassion of Jesus
Luke 7:11-15 – 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.
Like most people, I have always been fascinated by the stories of Jesus raising the dead. I suppose that it’s partly because it shows power beyond anything I can imagine, but maybe even more because it builds confidence that when I will need him to do the same for me some day that he’s up to the task.
The grieving mother was in desperate straits without a husband or a child to care for her. The villagers knew it, but so did Jesus.
There are three things I’d like to focus on here:
FIRST: Jesus’ attention is fixed on the mother, not the dead son. It is her that he approaches, her that he addresses in the depths of her sorrow.
SECOND: it is worth noting that Jesus doesn’t require a confession of faith from the woman before he takes action to ease her anguish. Her bone-shaking sorrow and fear was enough to trigger a miracle from the Lord.
THIRD: immediately after encouraging her to not cry, he walks to the bier and speaks to the dead man. That alone would seem strange enough – for dead people can’t hear, right? Wrong. On multiple occasions the dead hear the voice of Jesus and there is an immediate response.
What should we make of all this? In the midst of our fear, confusion and sorrow, Jesus notices. His compassion doesn’t require earth-shattering faith statements – and in some cases, apparently doesn’t require faith at all. And finally, if you are a Christian, Jesus spoke to you when you were dead in sin and you heard. And the day is coming when you will be dead in body but even that won’t block out his voice. You, too, will hear and rise even as the young man in this passage!
PRAYER: I am so grateful that you have such compassion on us even when we have weak or no faith at all. Help us to hear your voice, not only when we are dead, but while we are alive! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>