January 11, 2018

Luke 7:12-15…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. And when the lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then He came up and touched the bier and the bearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the young man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

            When I started reading this year, I intended to draw from the old Testament at least through January. This morning, I read from Genesis 11, and it was about the Tower of Babel. I also read chapters from 1 Chronicles and Psalms, but when I read this chapter in Luke, I was struck by the contrast between the other writings and this one.  The hope that was given in this chapter was too much for me to ignore. The woman in this section was described as the boy’s mother and as a widow. If we can let ourselves into her world, we experience incredible sadness. As a widow, her husband had died already, and as the boy’s mother she had just lost her only son. I don’t know why such a large crowd from the city was accompanying her. But, they were all witnesses of this miracle.

            “The Lord saw her and had compassion on her.” As messengers from God and witnesses of His goodness, we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. We are to feel compassion toward hurting people. We are not to judge and try to figure out why they are hurting. We feel compassion. Compassion is not sorrow. Compassion is the motivation to help. Jesus, as God’s representative on earth, healed the boy and gave him back to his mother. Imagine the joy that mother must have felt right then. She had just been blessed by God. Now, she could have thought another way. She could have questioned why God didn’t heal her husband or bring him back to life. And people in the crowd could have missed the joy of the miracle by thinking about their own needs. How often do we miss God because He doesn’t meet our own needs? Doesn’t the Bible say that God will supply all our needs? Yes, it does. Wants are different from needs.