Summary: No matter the problem we are facing, no matter how helpless or hopeless we feel, there is a Christ that cares for us.
A faithful study of this, the third of the four Gospels, the book of Luke, will reveal that it was written by the beloved physician, Luke. This is one of two books that Luke penned, the other being the Book of Acts. Luke was greatly influenced by the Apostle Paul. It is even suggested that Luke may have undertaken his medical studies at the University of Tarsus. Attached to that university was a school of philosophy and literature and it is quite likely that Luke and Paul were contemporary students. It is quite possible that it was there while in school that they began their lifelong friendship. There is a striking similarity in their writings.
As Mark had written for the Romans, so Luke wrote for the Greeks. The Greeks were a very intellectual people and Luke’s Gospel was written in a polished literary style and in a more classical style than the others. The Greeks had an idea in their minds of the perfect man. They even made all their gods in the image of the perfect man, deifying their own virtues and vices. Knowing their idea of the perfect man, Luke presents Christ to the Greeks as the Perfect Man, the One who, being both Man and God could fully realize the deepest aspirations of the Greeks. Luke’s Gospel is characterized by its comprehensiveness. He, like most intellectuals, is detail oriented and he knows that the audiece towhich he is writing is as well. This is shown in the fact that Luke’s Gospel contains the most detailed account of our Saviour’s birth and also more parables than any other Gospel. It also contains a number of the miracles of our Lord. Thus, the greater part of Luke’s Gospel shows a Saviour at work.
One such example of a miracle, of our Saviour’s work can be found right here in Luke 7:11-18, as we see our Lord interrupting a funeral service. You’ve heard me say it before and you will hear it again, It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by. Such is the case here, where we see the Lord at work. He shows Himself here to be the Christ who cares. Let’s read about it.
Read Luke 7:11-18
In Rudyard Kipling’s the Jungle Book, Mogli the man cub asks the animals what’s the most feared thing in the jungle. He is told that when two animals meet on a narrow path one must step aside and let the other pass. The animal that steps aside for none other would then be the most feared. He was told it was an elephant. Another told him it was a lion. Finally the wise old owl exclaims, "The most feared thing in the jungle is death. It steps aside for no one."
Death steps aside for no one. In our hearts we know that very fact of life. We all die. We are told in Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: There comes a time when we each must feel the sting of death. No one gets through this life unscaved by death’s curse. The world we live in, is marked by death, time marches towards it. Everyday it grows closer, every tick of the second hand draws death near. The sting of death is a burden we all must deal with. Loved ones die, spouses die, children die, friends die, we die. As depressing as that might seem, it is the truth. Death steps aside for no one.
If ever a person was aware of that fact, it was the lady that we meet here in Luke chapter 7. This is a lady who has certainly come face to face with death’s awful sting. She’s come face to face with death and she knows that it’s not her friend. You see, sometime before this day death came and claimed her husband. The Bible says she is a widow. Death had come knocking at her door and claimed her spouse. Now, once again, death comes knocking, this time for her son. This would have been painful had the Bible said that death came for one of her sons, but the Bible tells us this was her only son. In a span of time, death has come and taken away the family of this lady. Death steps aside for no one.
We don’t know much about the young man that was being carried out of town on the bier on this day. What was his cause of death? Was it a death related to immoral conduct? Was his death related to some sinful lifestyle that he was involved in? Was it a death of natural causes or an accident possibly? We don’t know. All we know is that this, the only son of a widow woman is now dead. His life is done. He is now without hope. There is no hope of a future for him. No hope of a family, no hope of children or a wife. There’s no hope of providing for his mother, of building his own home, of greater things for his family. All hope died when he did. He was hopeless and the widow woman was too. Imagine, she was now left all alone. You see, when her husband died, it became the responsibility of this son to care for her, to provide for her. Now he was gone. A widow in those days was in a totally vulnerable position if there were no male relatives to protect and provide for her. Her dead son was hopeless and she was helpless. She’s left all alone, with no one to help her.