Truth for the Times

Jesus had started teaching and healing and had then prayed and appointed the 12 apostles.  Shortly after that, we see large crowds of people hanging out with Jesus and even traveling with Him as He went from city to city.  Jesus had just healed a Centurion’s servant without even seeing the servant as the centurion had told Jesus that he believed Jesus could do that.  Then we read next in the Gospel of Luke:

Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.  And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.  When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.  Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”  And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.  Luke 7:11-17

Do you see the picture?  Jesus was walking along the dusty field with the 12 disciples and a large crowd around Him.  They were probably talking as they went with different conversations going on as they slowly walked along toward another city.  Jesus was with His people and they were moving along together as they approached the gates of the next city.

Then out of the city gates came another large crowd who were mourning and sorrowing over the plight of the poor widow whose only son had just died.  They were carrying the son out in a coffin most likely to bury him.  Perhaps this crowd was considering the plight of the widow.  She was now all alone.  How would she survive, as well as sorrow in her heart, and they were probably crying for her sake.  Having a spouse die is terrible, let alone having an only son die as well.  Wow!  This widow might have had cause to wonder where God was in this tragedy and how downcast she must have felt.

Jesus was not so self-involved with His group that He did not notice the widow’s group.  He noticed that sorrowful procession and was then confronted with choices.  Would He simply talk louder and move His group away from this other sad group, did He pretend they did not exist in order to continue enjoying the time with His peeps?  Did He whisper to one of His disciples to pray for that woman, or even go over and give some money?

What I find so impactful is what Jesus actually did.  He LEFT His group and went to the widow’s group to minister to her, raise her son from the dead and return the now alive son back from the dead son to the widow.

Brothers and sisters, the way of Jesus is to leave His peeps and minister to one in need.  To leave the comfort and fun of His crowd and go to the hurting crowd and minister!

Oh Jesus, please give us a heart like Yours to, first of all, actually care to look around, outside our group, and see what is happening.  Then give us the courage to step out of our comfort zone and go to one in need and minister.  Even if is put a wet blanket on our party!

May God remind us of the picture of this moving story, the feelings the woman was feeling, and how Jesus felt and decided to help her.  May we all be more and more like Jesus as we journey along in life and actually NOTICE what is happening around us; listening, looking and praying and then taking the action He leads us to take even if it means leaving the comfortable and going to another group to offer whatever His Spirit leads to offer.