Summary: Working through the Gospel of Luke using consecutive expository preaching.
“Raising the Dead”
A sermon for 6/13/21
Pastor John Bright
Luke 7 “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.”
No - this sermon is not about trying to wake Dad up and get him out of the recliner when it’s time to go to bed. That might actually be harder than what Jesus did here – just kidding😊
Getting Dad out of the chair might be easier than getting him to lead family devotions and family prayer. This is God’s design for the family and we see it carried on today in Jewish homes. Each Friday evening, part of the time of worship is the father laying his hands on the head of each child and praying this prayer:
“The Lord spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is how you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them: 'May the Lord bless you and watch over you. May the Lord cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you. May the Lord raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace.' They shall bestow My Name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them."
[For a son:] May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.
[For a daughter:] May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.
I bring up prayer today because this account of Jesus raising a young man from the dead causes us to ask questions about God and His role in healing those we love. It’s a hard conversation to have if you are grieving right now, but we need to make sure our loss does not lead us to question God’s compassion for our suffering.
Jesus on the Road
“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.”
I read an interesting description of the setting written my Dr. Ralph F. Wilson – “I picture Jesus leading the way, except for an eager child or two running on ahead. Clustered around Jesus on the narrow road would be a few of his disciples engaged with him in conversation, and a few from the learners in the crowd who couldn't get enough of his words. Strung about behind them for perhaps a quarter of a mile along the road were hundreds and hundreds of others, walking, following, expectant at what Jesus would do at the next stop.” http://www.jesuswalk.com/luke/022-nain.htm
Jesus is making a trip of 20-25 miles on foot. Back then, this was getting to the limit of how far folks would travel in a day. We can safely assume it would have been getting later in the day, maybe even the evening. That would have been a normal time for a funeral procession. In that day, it would have happened on the same day of the death. As work ended for the day, villagers would join the funeral procession and men would carry a wooden plank or wicker platform on their shoulders. On this would be the body of the young man, covered with a cloth. They would travel out of the village and go to the caves where bodied were laid until later they collected the bones. I’m explaining this because we see the word “coffin” and start to think of our modern-day funeral rituals, but what we do is very different from what they did back then.
A Divine Encounter
“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.”