Monday, February 21, 2011

In Need of Healing: A Woman with a Sadness

Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman's only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, "Don't cry." Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, "Young man, I tell you: Get up." The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.

Luke 7:11-15

In my quiet time I've been reading through and soaking up the gospel of Luke.  It's no secret by now- I'm a sucker for stories about Jesus and women. (Dr. Luke happens to contain the most, so I'm slightly partial to him.)  I don't know how this treasure had passed me by in years before, but I've had a hard time getting it out of my head and heart since I read it in my bathtub several weeks ago. 

I love the way The Message translation puts emphasis on this story.  The boy is described as "a woman's only son". The precious woman gets a sentence all her own- "And the mother was a widow."

This says so much. 

In this day and time a woman was solely dependant on her husband and when he died she would be dependant on her sons.  This poor woman had been left with no support.  Not only had she lost her family, but now she would likely be reduced to begging for food in the streets.

Jesus had chosen that day to pass through her village of Nain.  He stopped and observed as the funeral processional came in to sight.  He saw her- the mother, the widow.  His heart broke.  He reacted.  He gave

I am always amazed by the love and compassion of our Savior.  I said it last week and I'll say it again (and most likely again next week, too)- you are no different from this woman.  I don't know the details to your story and I don't know the outcome, but trust me- if your heart is breaking, His is breaking right along with yours.  You are His beloved child.  His treasure.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,

for the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted

and to proclaim that captives will be released

and prisoners will be freed.

He has sent me to tell those who mourn

that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,

and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

To all who mourn in Israel,

he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,

a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

festive praise instead of despair.

In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks

that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
Isaiah 61: 1-3

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