Jesus At Nain

In Luke 7 : 11-17 Jesus raises a widow’s son in the town of Nain: “11 Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12 As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. 13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” 17 This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.”  

The compassion of the act is without question.  In an age with no welfare system or pensions, the widow’s only livelihood would be her son.  His loss was not only an emotional and personal tragedy, but potentially foretold her own destitution or even death.

There is more to the story, however.  First Century Jews awaited Messiah.  They believed that Elijah or a great prophet in the mould of Elijah would usher in the age of Messiah.  Look at I Kings 17:17-24:  “17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived.23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”

Jesus’ raising of the son at Nain, was not only an act of compassion, but a declaration of the symbolic return of Elijah.  The age of Messiah has come. Jesus would go on to meet every expectation – of Elijah, of a prophet like Moses, and of Emmanuel “God with us.”  He was more than prophet, more than leader, He was and is our salvation.

biblePadre

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