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Pearls of the Kingdom 4/19/2023

In Luke chapter 7 we find two interesting stories that speak to miracles done by Jesus. It is the second miracle that has caught my attention for today. The Title to this portion of scripture in my bible reads, “Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son.”

Luke 7:11-17 “Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.”

Much different from our first story in Luke 7 where Jesus is asked to come. 7:3 “The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. We learn that Jesus is on his way to Nain and here he encounters a funeral procession. The story tells us that a woman’s only son has died. No details on why he died. We are told that the woman has also lost her husband. No details given on his death. What we can determine here, this is the end of her family’s lineage. No husband and now no son to carry on the family name. With the sons’ death, a large crowd followed the grieving mother out of town.

I am trying to imagine what the crowds were thinking when Jesus comes walking toward them. Did they know who he was? Did they have any idea on what was about to happen? Timing is everything as I sense that providence brought Jesus today at the right time. If Jesus had come earlier, he may have missed them. The son perhaps on his death bed, still inside his mother’s home. If Jesus came much later the woman’s son would have already been placed in the sepulture.

Jesus being moved with compassion (his heart went out to her) says to the woman, “Don’t cry.” He stops the procession by touching the bier. Bier being a moveable frame that carries a coffin or corpse. Was this an open coffin? Not sure if the corpse was wrapped and ready for burial (remember the story of Lazarus).

I am wondering what the disciples were thinking as Jesus touched this bier carrying a corpse. Wondering what the crowds were thinking as Jesus speaks to this corpse saying, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” Was this Jesus crazy in speaking to a corpse? But to their surprise and awe, the man once dead sat up and began to talk with Jesus. The woman gets her only son back. When a miracle happens,God gets the glory, “they were giving praise to God!” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

I had a sense to encourage you today my friends with this thought, Jesus is more than able to “speak life” into those areas that we consider dead: dead promises, dead plans, dead purposes, unanswered prayers. I feel that many of us “carry” a promise for a situation, a plan, purpose for our lives, prayer for a situation, prodigal, lost friend or a family member. “Delayed answers” cause us to doubt, to wonder if God will come through. When we have no instant answer, one wonders, does God really care? After time it is like these are “dead.” We put them into the sepulcher and roll the stone in place. It’s as if “time has expired” on our promises, plans, purposes, prayers. My friends there is no expiration date on the these. God has not forgotten His promises, plans, purposes for your life. His ears are not deaf, He hears your prayers. My hope for you today, that Jesus would speak life into those areas you thought were “dead”. You would be given fresh hope, that resurrection power would speak life into those areas again. Fresh expectation for a Jesus encounter.

Like our story here in Luke, when you encounter Jesus, when He speaks “life” into your situation, be sure to tell others your story, it will encourage them as they wait for Jesus.

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