It happened in the no-nothing little town called Nain.
Why there? Why to that woman? What was the point?
And most importantly, as you will learn in the PODCAST, what does this teach us about the nature, character, and heart of God? His heart towards me. More significantly, His heart towards YOU!
First off, let’s look at God’s Word:
16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.”
How did the people know that they had been visited by God, Himself?
Well, they understood God’s character, His nature, His heart – what He is like – and recognized what took place in their midst.
And they were terrified. Shaken to the core!
You see, understanding the context of the miracle in Luke 7, including the little town called Nain, will help us understand the character, nature and heart of God, just as the people in the scriptures did.
Firstly, the miracle took place soon after the healing of the Roman centurion’s slave in Capernaum. Jesus then walked (and brought along a huge group of followers) down to the little village of Nain.
But, why Nain?
Location, location, location.
First off, it’s very name, Nain, can be translated to “pleasant” or “charming”. It features 360-degree pleasant views of Mt. Carmel, the hills of Nazareth and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a beautiful place. But, if His boyhood home of Nazareth was a mere six miles away, why take the crowd to Nain?
Because that’s where the widow was.
There was a funeral in Nain, where a widow’s son was being mourned, and Jesus rose him from the dead.
But there had to be several other funerals between Capernaum and Nazareth, so why Nain?
Probably because Nain was pretty much the polar opposite of Capernaum. Nain had no strategic, economic, or even Biblical significance – contrasted to Capernaum which was a metropolitan hub of its day.
Another contrast is the fact that while in Capernaum, the centurion sought out Jesus and sent people asking for His help. But in Naim, Jesus Himself sought out the widow who had just lost her only son.
You see, by choosing Naim. By choosing the widow. By choosing the exact context of where, when, to whom, and in front of whom Jesus performed the miracle of raising the boy from the dead, Jesus proved His innocent motivation and left no doubt that His deeds and intentions were pure.
But what about the miracle, itself?
This “raising of the dead” story was recorded only by Luke – Doctor Luke. A guy who knew all about the differences between being dead and “mostly dead”, or alive but sleeping heavily, or just really, really sick.
Jesus’ timing was absolutely (miraculously) perfect to arrive in Nain just as the procession for the young man’s funeral was leaving the village.
Then there’s the miracle:
When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. (Luke 7:13)
There’s Jesus’ motivation. Not money, not power, not P.R. or influence – COMPASSION! And still today, God’s heart still flows with compassion. For you. For me. For all mankind.
“Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
That is a picture of the heart of God towards us all: filled with overflowing, gut-grabbing compassion that acts on our behalf for you and for me. Compassion that is not a noun, but a verb. Compassion that – like the widow – will meet us in our darkest of hours to bring to us the brightest of lights. His love when we are hated, His embrace when we are rejected, His peace when we are stressed out and worried, His comfort when we are tormented, His joy when we are filled with sorrow, His gladness to replace our sadness, His hope when we are hopeless, His life when we just want to die, His fullness when we are empty, and most importantly His presence when we feel so alone.
God has visited His people today.
The question is, do you choose to recognize Him like the people of Nain did, or do you reject Him and His compassion as the people of Nazareth did?
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