Summary: PENTECOST 3(C) - Believers learn WHY does Jesus help: He is full of mercy and God is to be glorified.


Luke 7:11-17 - June 29, 2003

LUKE 7:11-17

11Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12As 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. 13When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don’t cry."

14Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" 15The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." 17This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

In our lifetime sometimes we ask "why?" Certainly, as we were growing up or are still growing up, we may have those questions that ask "why?" We hear them from the children--why is the sky blue and the grass green, and the list goes on and on. But as we grow in wisdom or as we really grow in knowledge, we learn the answer to some of those questions of "why." As we grow in our Christian faith, we learn the answer to those questions of why. Why does God do this or that?" Yes, there may yet be those times that we may ask "why?"

Today, our text really, at least in my mind, brings us to ask a why question--why does Jesus help us? We are just sinners here on earth. We don’t deserve to be helped. Sometimes, we don’t even ask for his help, and yet the Lord still helps us. So we ask ourselves "why?" We begin to see why because we know that Jesus loves mankind. As Jesus walked on the earth, as He preached and taught, He was always looking for the opportunity to benefit mankind in its sinful condition. One time coming off the boat after traveling across the sea, the crowd was gathered to hear Him.

We are told these words in Matthew: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd"(MATTHEW 9:36). That begins us on the journey to understand why. The Lord doesn’t want to see us harassed and helpless. He doesn’t want to see us like sheep without a shepherd, and so He helps us. As our text points out,

Why does Jesus help us?

I. Jesus is full of mercy.

II. God is to be glorified.

I. Jesus is full of mercy

With today’s text we continue where we finished last Sunday. Last week we looked at the first ten verses of Luke and our text today picks up from that point. It says, 11Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain. In the original it really means the next day. We remember from last week how Jesus had been in Capernaum and there He healed the servant of the centurion who had an unselfish faith. Capernaum was in the north with Nain in the middle of the Promised Land in between Jerusalem and Capernaum. He comes to Nain not by Himself but we are told: His disciples and a large crowd went along with him. Jesus is gaining popularity because He is doing these miracles. Not only did the disciples follow Him, but a large crowd of people because they saw that He was a man full of mercy, a man filled with compassion.

As Jesus approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out. The city of Nain was set on a hillside surrounded by a great wall to protect it from its enemies. Many of the towns that had walls around them did not have very many entrances or exits. Their enemies could only come in one place and that was through the main gate. Here we find Jesus coming to the main gate of the city of Nain. As He comes with His crowd of people following Him and His disciples, they are filled with joy. They meet another procession that is coming out of Nain, a funeral procession. This was a sad procession. A dead person was being carried out--the only son of his mother. She was a widow. I am sure on that day there were many in the crowd asking, "Why would such a thing happened to this lady?" She was already a widow with only one son, and now he too had passed away. In the time of Jesus the women didn’t have jobs. They could not provide for themselves. That was the duty of the husband; and if the husband passed away, it was the duty of the son. Now she was left alone.

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