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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE WIDOW'S SON RAISED FROM DEATH

Luke 7:11-17 And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people. Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited His people. And this rumor of Him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.

Only Luke records this lesson that occurred during Jesus' earthly ministry. Although Jesus had previously been near the city of Capernaum when He healed the centurion's servant, this event, which immediately followed it, occurred in a city called Nain. This is the first, and only, time it is mentioned in the bible. Scholars tell us that Nain was located near Mount Tabor, about 10 to 15 miles southwest of Capernaum. This corresponds to the travel time necessary to reach the city of Nain on the day after being near the city of Capernaum. Luke tells us that many of His disciples ...and much people accompanied Jesus. Coming to the gate of the city, Jesus saw a dead man carried out. This was a funeralprocession. A dead man was being carried outside the city walls where the deceased were required to be buried, in order to prevent ceremonial uncleanness. This dead person was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

To a Jewish widow, the death of an only son would be almost beyond consolation. Yet, when the Lord saw her, and in an effort to dry her tears of sorrow, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. The lesson text says that Jesus then came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. By touching the coffin of the son, Jesus defied the Jewish law of uncleanness, and causing those that were carrying him to stop and lower the open bier to the ground. Then, for the first time in Jesus' life on earth He demonstrated His power over physical death. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. At the sound of the Savior's commanding voice, another compassionate miracle occurred. Without any hesitation, life returned to the young man's body, he sat up, his lips were loosed, and he began to speak.Indeed,death had met its master; death was defeated by the Son of God. No doubt Jesus took the young man's hand, assisted him out of the burial bier, and He delivered him to his mother. This example, demonstrating Jesus' power over physical death, serves as comfort and assurance to all Christians. We are assured that this same Son of God also has power over the spiritual death caused by sin, and likewise will raise the souls of all His obedient followers to join Him in Heaven for eternity.

Because of this miraculous restoration of life, there came a fear on all. All present on this occasion were overwhelmed with an awesome, spiritual reverence for the power of God as demonstrated through His Son, Christ Jesus. With a display of worshipful reverence, they glorified God, saying, That a great Prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited His people. No doubt the phrase "a great Prophet" refers to the promised Messiah, because this was Moses' prophetic promise to the entire Jewish nation. He wrote that the Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken (Deut. 18:15). The last verse of the lesson text confirms this to be true. And this rumor of Him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about. Rumors seem to always spread quickly. This was no exception to that rule. The rumor that the Prophet promised by Moses was then on earth visiting His people, rapidly spread throughout the Jewish nation.

Oh how wonderful it would be if all men and women of the world would come to know, believe, and accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, realizing that that He is the promised Messiah, and the Savior of the world, having the power to save all souls that are spiritually dead in their sins.