Summary: One of the proofs that He is God was that He raised men from the dead. Actually, this was a miracle done for our sake, to show what takes place when Jesus touches a person who is dead spiritually because of sin. When we are saved, we are raised from. . .
Title: Jesus Proves He Is the Resurrection And the Life
Text: So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. (Luke 7:15)
Scripture Reading: Luke 7:11-17
11 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.
12 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.
13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
14 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.”
15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.
The incident we just read about, took place in the city of Nain. Nain is a small village in the plain of Jezreel, about 25 miles south of Capernaum. The village is still known by the same name, which means “pleasant.” It is truly a beautiful area, yet people die even in beautiful places. The incident happened near the gate of the city, however the city had never been fortified, so the term “gate” may simply mean a spot where the houses of the town ended and the road began.
It was usually outside of town and some distance away, where the dead were buried. They had different customs, depending upon their age, for carrying out those that were to be buried. A child under a month old was carried in the arms of a person. If the child was a full month old it was placed in a little coffin, which was carried in their arms. A child of twelve months old was carried in a little coffin on the shoulder. And a child that was three years old was carried on a stretcher or bed. This is the way that this corpse was carried, through the gate and out of the city.
Two groups of people met at the gate of Nain, that day. One group, consisting of Jesus and His disciples, was coming toward the city from Capernaum, probably by way of Nazareth. It wasn’t only the twelve who accompanied Jesus, but there were many others including some that lived in Capernaum, who followed Him in anticipation of seeing a miracle, like a few hours earlier when Jesus healed a Centurion’s servant.
The other group consisted of the widow, whose boy had died, and a great multitude of mourners. If we could only travel back in time to that day, and join the crowd by the gate, we might have observed the whole thing. Allow me to describe the scene to you.
The funeral procession was large, which was typical of a boy that was popular and may have been a local favorite, known by many. Those that were to bear the coffin, most likely had assistants, who were obliged to accompany them, and they changed bearers, if they had to go a great distance, which was often the case. There were some that went before the casket, and others went after it. What's more, there were traditions that worked to increase the size of funeral processions. Those that could afford it, employed professional mourners, who continually cried out how wonderful the person was, and how great a tragedy his death was. Also, it was considered an act of kindness and mercy to follow a corpse to the grave. What's more, there was a prohibition against doing any work, while someone was being buried, even if he was a common person.
The whole town must have felt sorry for this mother for having lost her only boy. It was a scene of great sorrow and mourning, made worse, because the dead son was an only son. No family accompanied the lone woman, since she was widowed and without a family.
There was another son that was mourned, but He was the “Only Begotten Son” of God.” God said this about His Son through His prophet, Zechariah, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10) There is a day in the future, when the people of Israel will see the Messiah; they will recognize Him, repent, and be cleansed and forgiven. And that’s what happened when you and I recognize Jesus as our Savior.