Compassion and Life!
“Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.” Luke 7:14,15
As the Lord Jesus taught throughout the cities of Galilee, He and His disciples came to the village of Nain. As He approached the city there was a large funeral procession. The young man being carried out was the only son of a widow. When Jesus saw the mother, His heart overflowed with compassion for her and He said, “Do not cry.” Then He graciously walked over to the open coffin and touched it, and as the pallbearers stopped and stood still Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
As the sovereign words proceeded out from the Lord Jesus the power of life was infused into this young man’s dead body so that he became alive. The young man who was dead sat up, and then in a tender moment Jesus presented the son back to his mother. As the news of this spread, great awe swept throughout the land with all the people giving praise to God.
During Jesus’ ministry we find Him in many different places teaching the gospel and engaging the people. We find Jesus in the market place (John 5:1-9). We find Jesus in the temple (John 5:14; 7:14). We find Jesus in the synagogue (Mark 3:1; John 18:20). We find Jesus on a mountainside (Matthew 5:12). We find Jesus by the seaside (Mark 4:1). When we read the scriptures we find our Lord Jesus in many different places, except for one – a funeral!
We never read of Jesus attending a funeral, burying someone, or even preaching a eulogy. In our opening scripture Jesus stops a funeral. Why is that? It is because Jesus is life (John 6:47; John 11:25; John 14:6). John the Baptist testified that, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus is the very opposite of death. So having the very essence of life flowing out of Himself that is why every time we read about any dead people around Jesus, He showed compassion and they were raised to life. Just ask Lazarus (John 11:43,44).
What a wonderful lesson for those of us who claim the name to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We should have the desires to exemplify compassion and testify of the eternal life found in Jesus to those around us. How many times do we get caught up in our busy schedule and forgo the opportunity - due to inconvenience? No one was more inconvenienced and taken advantage of than Jesus, yet He took time to stop a funeral procession. I’m sure this mother was glad that Jesus was not too inconvenienced to share His life.
David C. Hale, pastor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org