Summary: Reminding us of the Christian hope we have as we see how Jesus confronts the death of a young man

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When Two Worlds Collide 17th February 2008

With television cameras rolling a brand new car is propelled down a track into a concrete barrier. Smash! It’s Air bags explode. Crash dummies recoil from the impact. Metal flies!

The test is repeated on dozens of new cars. Why this waste of cars?

Researchers are trying to learn from the collisions so as to make cars safer for the times when real people are involved in real accidents.

This week in the UK you may have heard in the news about new technology whereby a laser is put in the bonnet of a car so when it senses another vehicle in front it automatically brakes.

Some collisions in life can’t be avoided however,

This morning we’re going to be thinking about another kind of collision as we look together at the story of Jesus Luke recorded for us in Luke 7:11.

I’m calling the Message “When Two Worlds Collide”


v11 Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out — the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.

There were two crowds – two processions in this story

i) A large Joyful Crowd travelling with Jesus who is the centre of their attention

Some were his disciples – others, people who’d been affected by Jesus’ ministry

Walked with him 20 miles from Capernaum in the north going south

These were people who were strongly motivated - with faith growing in their hearts

Seen the Demon cast out in the synagogue. Heard of Peters m-in-law healed

Present at sunset as so many sick oppressed and demonised were made whole

Witnessed the Leper being cleansed & Man through the roof healed and forgiven!

They’d heard about the Centurions servant being saved from the brink of death

Knew about Jesus welcome for outcasts like lepers and tax collectors

Heard about the blessings of belonging to God’s Kingdom

Been mesmerised by his teaching in the sermon on the mount

This was all new and exciting it was something to be joyful about and celebrate.

They travel to Nain – more a village than town – like in hills of Italy or Greece

It’s name meant “pleasant” and it was – being set on the n.w. hillside of Moreh

overlooking a plain with Mt Tabor to the north and Mt Gilboa behind it

Never found evidence of a town gate – probably means they reach the houses

This is where the collision happens – because coming the opposite way is another crowd!

ii) A Sad crowd whose main focus is the dead body of a young man

The body was carried, not so much in a coffin (NIV) but a bier or stretcher probably wrapped up in a shroud as was custom. They were on their way to the cemetery.

Since the death was that of a young man I suspect the whole village turned out

Their focus was on the tragedy that had befallen a widow who’d already lost her husband

Sadness is more poignant – it’s not the natural way for a mother to bury her son

Their thoughts are full of sadness and grief as they share the loss together and tears flow

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