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Summary: Jesus raisestthe widows son.

MUB

1-09-05

LUKE 7;11-17

AT LAST COUNT, THE DEATH TOLL FROM THE TSUNAMI IS GOING TO BE OVER 150,000 PEOPLE. THEY ARE SAYING THAT WITHOUT PROPER MEDICAL CARE, THE NUMBER MAY WELL DOUBLE. THE SADDEST PICTURES COMING FROM THAT AREA ARE THE CHILDREN, EITHER THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ORPHANED OR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES. I SAW A NEWS CLIP, AND ONE OF THE BIG ITEMS THAT IS NEEDED IS BODY BAGS. THE NEWS REPORTERS COMMENT ON THE SMELL OF DEATH. THIS IS NOT A PLEASANT SUBJECT. WE PREFER NOT TO DISCUSS IT, MOST OF US DON’T EVEN CONSIDER IT UNLESS WE ARE FORCED TO. WE THINK OF IT AS ONE OF THE TWO INEVITABLE’S IN LIFE, THE OTHER BEING TAXES.

BUT, NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE PREFER NOT TO DEAL WITH IT, WE MUST. AND AS WE ONCE AGAIN, TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE LIFE OF CHRIST, WE EXAMINE AN ENCOUNTER, WHEN DEATH MEETS LIFE.

WE WILL SEE SEVERAL CONTRASTS, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS THAT OF LIFE AND DEATH.

LET’S SET THE SCENE. THIS EVENT TAKES PLACE THE VERY NEXT DAY FOLLOWING THE HEALING OF THE CENTURIONS SERVANT. THIS AREA IS ON THE NW COAST OF THE SEA OF GALILEE. JESUS HAS LEFT CAPERNAUM AND NOW IS THE CITY OF NAIN. THE DISTANCE IS LESS THAN 25 MILES. NAIN WAS A WALLED CITY. THERE IS A CITY IN EXISTENCE THERE TODAY. IN BIBLE TIMES THE WORD NAIN MEANT PLEASANT. TO THE NORTH IS TABOR, TO THE WEST NAZARETH, TO THE EAST ENDOR, TO THE SOUTH THE PLAIN OF JEZREEL.

IT WAS IN THIS SAME GENERAL AREA THAT ELISHA HAD RAISED FROM THE DEAD, THE WOMAN’S SON. ELIJAH HAD ALSO RAISED THE DEAD IN THE SAME AREA. THESE TWO PROPHETS HAD MINISTERED NEARLY 900 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST.

NOW, LATE IN THE AFTERNOON, PERHAPS NEAR 6 PM, ON THIS SPRING DAY, DEATH MEETS LIFE.

AS IS OFTEN THE CASE, THERE ARE MANY DETAILS THAT WE ARE NOT TOLD. WE DON’T KNOW HOW OLD THIS YOUNG MAN WAS, WE DON’T KNOW HIS CAUSE OF DEATH, WE DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH EFFORT HAD BEEN PUT FORTH TO TRY AND KEEP HIM ALIVE.

SCRIPTURE DOES REVEAL SOME THINGS TO US. THE DEAD MAN WAS THE ONLY SON OF HIS MOTHER. HIS MOTHER WAS A WIDOW. SHE HAD ALREADY LOST HER HUSBAND, AND NOW HER ONLY CHILD, HER SON WAS GONE AS WELL. SHE IS LEFT CHILDLESS. IN THAT TIME, TO BE IN HER CIRCUMSTANCES WAS TERRIBLE. AS A WIDOW SHE DEPENDED ON HER CHILDREN TO CARE FOR HER. THERE WAS NO WELFARE OR SOCIAL SECURITY. THINK HOW WE REASON ABOUT DEATH. NO PARENT WANTS TO BURY THEIR CHILD. WE THINK, OLD PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO DIE, NOT THE YOUNG. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE HEARD SOMEONE SAY, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME. WOULDN’T EACH PARENT SAY, I WOULD TRADE PLACES, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE. I AM SURE THIS IS EXACTLY HOW THIS MOTHER FELT. THE CHILD THAT SHE HAD BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD WAS GONE.

THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A BLAST OF THE RAMS HORN TELLING ALL THAT THE ANGEL OF DEATH HAD COME. ALL THE BURIAL PREPARATIONS HAD BEEN MADE. HIS HAIR WOULD HAVE BEEN CUT, HIS BODY WASHED AND ANOINTED WITH THE PERFUME OF DEATH, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN WRAPPED IN A BURIAL SHROUD, PLACED IN AN OPEN CASKET, HIS FACE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN COVERED. THE MOTHER WOULD HAVE TORN HER UPPER GARMENT. SHE WOULD HAVE EATEN VERY LITTLE. NOW IT IS TIME FOR THE FUNERAL PROCESSION.

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