Summary: The example of the Master in being a comfort to people who have suffered loss.
Actually, Jesus never had to conduct a funeral. No one ever died or stayed dead in His immediate presence. That’s because He is the resurrection and the life! (John 11:25)
He did, however, come to the aid of those in sorrow over death, and by so doing left a great example for those of us who would be a comfort to our friends.
Christ has compassion on hurting people.
When he saw the widow in the funeral procession of her son His heart went out to her. (Luke 11:13)
He then raised her son from the dead and the surrounding mourners exclaimed, "God has come to help His people." (Luke 11:16)
No one cares more when we’re hurting than Jesus does. No one wants to help us more than He does.
It’s difficult to hear His name slandered by the skeptic who says "If there’s a God, why does He allow disease and famine and death?" Do they not recognize how many humanitarian organizations have had the love of Christ as their impetus?
The love of one person for another was put in our hearts by the Creator. He uses us as tools in His hands to heal the hurting in the world. God is the world’s greatest humanitarian through those of us who would follow the Divine impulse within.
When death separates us from our family members and friends we are in special need of comfort. When others come to our side and let us know they care they are God’s messengers.
Jesus let this woman know that He cared even though it doesn’t appear that the woman had previously met Him. He and His disciples were coming into the town of Nain as the funeral procession was headed out to the cemetery.
Knowing what the Bible teaches about Christ’s ministry we know it wasn’t just a coincidence. Christ lived a totally purpose-driven life. Nothing happened by chance as He walked in constant fellowship with His Father.
So this was a Divine appointment? Sure. Christ’s timing was always perfect.
His entrance into the life of this woman and her son has become an example of the interest He has in each of us.
Christ is concerned that all true seekers come to know Him.
Even John the Baptist heard about this interruption in the funeral procession through the report of his followers. (Luke 7:18) He quickly dispatched his disciples to ask Jesus a pervasive question: "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
In short, John’s question was, "Are You the Savior God promised He would send?"
Luke records the context as well as the text of Christ’s answer:
"At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, ’Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away because of me.’" (Luke 7:21-23)
Was Jesus really who He said He was? Well do we know of anyone else who did what He did, said what He said, or lived like He lived? Do we know anyone else whose life was the precise fulfillment of hundreds of minutely detailed prophecies? Do we know anyone else who was brutally sacrificed and alive three days later to tell about it?
The world has seen a steady stream of would-be Messiahs but only One authentic Son of God. The tombs of world’s great religious founders are filled with dead man’s bones but the tomb of Jesus is as empty as the promises of the false messiahs.
We not only see His Divinity through His miraculous credentials but also by His love for hurting souls.
After the messengers of John the Baptist left with their reply Jesus turned to the crowd with some glowing remarks about John’s life and ministry.
Some of the people in the crowd - the experts in Jewish law (scribes) and the Pharisees - didn’t think all that highly of the ministry of the Baptizer. They apparently didn’t accept his message of repentance because they would not allow John to baptize them. (Luke 7:30)
Like John, Jesus was a friend of tax collectors and sinners; a scornful title given Him by His enemies. (Luke 7:34) Christ did not shun the outcasts of society. His message of salvation was for all; not just the rich and educated and certainly not just for religious snobs like the scribes and Pharisees.
The incident at Simon the Pharisee’s house shared by Luke in the closing segment of chapter seven of his gospel illustrate superbly the mission and method of Christ. (Luke 7:36-50)