11 Afterward he was on his way to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. 12 Just as he neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was also with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, “Don’t weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And he said, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Then fear came over everyone, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people.” 17 This report about him went throughout Judea and all the vicinity.
As you read these verses, what stands out to you? If you put yourself there as part of the large crowd going along with Jesus and His disciples, what strikes you about what takes place? What do you learn about Jesus?
Luke records what happens. As they were approaching the gate to the city, a large funeral procession was coming out of the gate. What is interesting is the details we’re given. This dead person was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. It was bad enough for a parent to have to bury a child, but for a widow to lose her only son was especially devastating. In addition to mourning the loss of her only son, she was also faced with being without family, by herself in a male culture with no one to care for her.
Then Luke describes Jesus’ response. When He saw her, HIS HEART WENT OUT TO HER, and He said, “Don’t weep.” Leading His disciples and this large crowd, Jesus might have been too busy to stop and give attention to this widow. But when He saw her, our Lord’s heart went out to her in her sorrow and devastation. He spoke to her, I am sure, with a disarming loving care: “Don’t weep.” He had great empathy and compassion for this helpless widow!
Then in a continuing motion, He touched the stretcher the son was being carried on. Speaking directly to the dead son, He said with great authority, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” The young man responded and sat up, and Jesus “gave him to his mother.”
WOW! Here were two crowds of people: one with Jesus and the other in the funeral procession. What had just happened? Emotions were reversed! Great sorrow changed in a moment to great joy and rejoicing! Yet who was this One who could raise the dead?? It was clear to the onlookers: “God has visited his people.”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- As you consider your challenges and painful difficulties, are you encouraged that Jesus’ heart goes out to you? Read these song lyrics:
Does Jesus care when I’ve said good-bye
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?O yes, He cares. I know He cares!
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
- Jesus is our example for loving others in their time of need. He interrupted His plans to care for the widow. It was not because He had an obligation, but because He cared. When He saw her, His heart went out to her. When you understand how much Jesus cares for you, it is a foundation for you to care for others. Who around you need to experience Jesus care from you? Do not delay.
Pray for Mark and Vesta, global workers in our church family. Read more about their life’s mission and focus here.