O, how I would love to have been present to see this miracle in person! How about you? If we use our imaginations, however, picturing in our minds what happened that day outside the gate of Nain, we can still share in some of the thrill of the eyewitnesses.
A weeping woman, who had already suffered the tragedy of her husband’s death, is now following the funeral procession of her only son, trudging to the place where a fresh grave has been dug in the ground, right beside the place where her husband’s body lay. Carried on a pallet in front of her is her son’s lifeless body, cold, still and white, a child who once walked, laughed and held her hand. She has no other children of her own to comfort her, but her relatives and neighbors are walking with her, weeping out loud, sympathetic to her adversity, but helpless to do anything to reverse her misfortune. Many are wondering why God would allow their friend to face such anguish, and at the same time, secretly thankful that they are not wearing her shoes. Her future looks bleak with no husband or son to support her. How could things be worse?
That day the Holy Spirit led Jesus to the village of Nain, with a plan to turn mourning into joy and to glorify the Son of God. When Jesus saw the funeral procession, His “heart overflowed with compassion” (Luke 7:13), and He walked over to the coffin bearers and stopped them. Then, with the same spoken power He used to create the universe, Jesus commanded the dead boy to get up, which he instantly did! Shock waves of astonishment rippled through the crowd as the boy began speaking. He was dead, but now is truly alive! As the stunned crowd tried to make sense of what their eyes had just witnessed, Jesus helped the boy from his funeral pallet and gave him to his mother. No doubt they embraced with tears of joy and praise to God.
Although Jesus doesn’t intervene every time people face similar tragedies, this story should remind us that He does care deeply when we suffer. Additionally, it proves that Jesus has power over death, and strengthens our faith that He is certainly the Son of God. There are no other religions in the world that claim that their founder raised people from the dead!
Q. Can you think of a reason why someone being raised from the dead is a greater miracle than someone being healed?
A. When a person is raised from the dead, he also has to be healed of whatever killed him, otherwise he’d immediately die again. Additionally, every cell in his body is healed, because all of them die once he’s dead.
Q. What do you think would have been your reaction if you had seen Jesus perform this miracle?
Application: Our Savior is master over death, and we’ve been delivered from our fear of it (see Hebrews 2:15). One day Jesus will resurrect every person who has died, and one day we will be united with our loved ones who have died in Christ. The joy this widow experienced when her son came back to life is nothing compared to the joy we’ll have in heaven!