Summary: Learning how to trust God even in the mist of sorrow
I want to say that children have a way to make us think, laugh and cry. In fact, one day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast through her black hair. She asked her mother "Why are some of your hairs white, and the other ones are black Mom?" Her mother replies, "Well, every time you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." The little girl takes some time and thinks about this for a while, then she asks, "So how come ALL of Grandmas hairs are white?"
Some of you who are sitting here this morning may be crying on the inside because of a situation with your children. To you, Jesus would say the same thing that he said to the mother that He encountered in the city of Nain. He would say to you, don’t cry like there is no hope. I can work a miracle, because I can take a hopeless, dead situation and bring life¨.
As we look at the miracle that happened for a family who lived almost 2000 years ago, I want you to understand and see this: the same God who worked a miracle for them, can work a miracle in you. Allow me to share with you that there is no hopeless situation when Jesus is present.
If we were to look at the text, we would see in verses 11 and 12 that the situation was divided. One crowd was following life. Luke verse 11 said “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him and much people”. There were those who followed life.
If we were to look back at the beginning of this chapter, you’ll find that there was a reason that a crowd was following Jesus. They were following Jesus because he had performed a miracle for the servant of a Roman centurion. The servant was at the point of death, and Jesus healed the servant with nothing more than a Word. And for someone on the live this morning that’s good news, because all you need is a Word.
He didn’t have to go to where the servant was and lay hands on him, he didn’t slap any oil on his head, in fact he didn’t even send them away with a prayer cloth, all he did was spoke the Word. So, obviously, a miracle like this was a cause for rejoicing and excitement, and they wanted to be around Jesus. They wanted to see what was going to happen next. They wanted to be around where the table was spread, and the feast of the Lord was going on. In fact, everywhere Jesus went, nothing ever stayed the
same. He brought joy and life because He was life.
Remember what He said in John said in the 14th chapter and the 6th verse: he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.¨ but can I tell you that He wasn’t just talking about eternal life, but He was also talking about living life to the fullness. He was talking about all the things that would come along with life. He was talking about joy, hope, dreams and laughter - kind of like all those things that a mother brings to her family in the darkest of times, because Jesus was the source of all these things, and the crowd was following Him. They were having a great time as they celebrated Jesus, and what He had done.
Watch this, being with Jesus was like being at a party that never ended. They were praising God and singing songs, and everyone was trying to get close to Jesus so that they could hear what He had to say and possibly receive a miracle. They were noisy and energetic, but suddenly their noise stopped as they came upon another crowd.
Even though there was one crowd following life, there was another crowd that was following death. (vs. 12)
As Jesus, His disciples and the large crowd with them were getting ready to enter the city of Nain, they came upon another large crowd that was coming out of the city. This crowd was very different from the first crowd. One of the reason they were different was because they were led by a coffin, which is the symbol of death, rather than being led by Jesus, the source of life. They too were loud, but their noise came from the volume of their weeping and wailing, not from singing and laughter. In this crowd, all the hope was gone.