Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son
11 Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the bier (stretcher), and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
Observations and Reflections
After Jesus interacts with the centurion and his servants, He goes from Capernaum just a bit southwest to a small village called Nain. A detail that can be easily overlooked is that the woman who lost her child only had one son and he just passed away. This means that she is destined to be in poverty unless a near relative redeems her (not likely) and her family’s property. Like Naomi in the book of Ruth, this widow had no brother-in-law that redeemed her when she became a widow which means that she is dependent on a son to inherit and keep the family property. But this widow was now without a husband or a son. She had nothing. Jesus was not just saving her son but also the entire family and lineage.
However, I believe Jesus would have raised her son even if she had 10 more. Jesus did not turn anyone away that was in need. That is an important part of the gospel. Jesus came as a doctor to the sick…. all of the sick, not just the terminally ill.
Jesus’s ministry is increasing daily as He goes from town to town healing and bringing hope to lost people. This is just one of the many compassionate and loving acts that He shows towards those who are in need. Jesus understands our hurt and pain, and more so He longs to fill that void with an overwhelming sense of His peace, joy and hope.
This passage goes much deeper then just witnessing a miracle. It is also seeing the Gospel being put on display for all to see. The point of Jesu’s ministry was to ultimately preach the message of the cross to those who were lost sinners. This miracle is but a mere picture of one being saved physically and more so, spiritually. Jesus’ intention is to literally save lives but not so much from the physical ailments of death, but from eternal punishment and spiritual death that has negative consequences as a result of sin.
The miraculous healing that we see happening here is but a symbol of what it means to be saved from our eternal death. Jesus Christ was and is the only one who is able to save us from where sin leads us and is able to offer a new life that is filled with hope. This young man was offered a new chance not only at life but at being saved from sin.