Luke 7:11-17 JESUS RAISES A WIDOW'S SON
Not only did Jesus's disciples follow him, but great crowds did too. The distance is about 30 miles and would take over 10 hours to walk. Can you image a crowd walking together for 10 hours?
I feel compassion for this widow whose only son has died because she has now lost both men in her life. She has lost all of her support and most likely would now become a beggar, especially if she was past child bearing years.
A crowd is with her as they take her son's body from the city, so they also were feeling compassion for her. The would have been taking the body a few miles outside of town to a cave where everyone was buried. This crowd meets the crowd with Jesus at the city gate. What timing! Those going out and those coming in meet. The city gate was a place where people met for court and business concerns.
Jesus has compassion! His heart broke too! He is sensitive to our pains. Jesus noticed her and comforted her saying, "Do not weep." What a great verse to read when I am in need of comfort when I lose a loved one. Jesus noticed her and spoke. It is okay to weep, but here Jesus is inferring, "Hey, stop crying because I'm going to turn your tears into joy!"
A bier is a stand on which a corpse (wrapped in a shroud) or casket is placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave. Jesus came up to the widow and touched the bier and those holding the bier stopped and stood still. She did not even need to ask and Jesus said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." With just His Word, Jesus brought the man to life. Jesus did so without being asked because of His compassion. Sometimes, before we even call upon the Lord, He answers our heart. The mother may have been praying, but the story does not say. Jesus brings hope in the midst of a tragedy. For such a grief as this there is only one helper.
Jesus "gave him to his mother." Jesus gives. Jesus gives us our children to care for, but ultimately, Jesus is the giver and the taker. Job 1:21, "...naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." For this widow, Jesus gave twice.
Fear seized them (the two crowds) because only God could do such a thing. This is an example of the kind of "fear of the Lord" that should dwell within us. Their fear caused them to glorify God. This fear is the root of reverence. God can take you out and God can raise you up! This fear is the awe that causes people to want to spread the word about this amazing Jesus.
This story mirrors our story of salvation. We are dead in our sins and no one can help us but Christ. It is nothing we do, but only the compassion of Christ that brings us to life. We do nothing to earn a new life, but rather once it is given (a gift), it is ours to use to do His will. Jesus resurrects us to never die again, but live eternally with Him.