As Jesus neared the gate to the city of Nain, a funeral procession was making its way out of the city. A dead man was being carried through the city gate, accompanied by his widowed mother and a sizeable crowd of mourners. He was her only son. Now he was dead. The Greek word, μονογενής, translated here only son, is the same word used in John 3:16, in reference to Jesus being the only begotten son of God.
The widow’s grief was obvious to all, but especially to our Lord, whose own mother was probably a widow at this time in His life. Jesus’ great capacity for love is revealed in this passage. “He felt compassion for her.” His heart went out to her in sympathy. Perhaps her grief foreshadowed that of his own mother in the near future as she would watch her son die on the cross.
“Stop weeping,” He told her. She may have wondered why anyone could be so insensitive, not even permitting her to cry over her lost son. But then he walked over to the coffin and touched it. The funeral procession abruptly stopped. Jesus spoke to the dead son, saying, “Young man, I say to you arise!” As the creator-God of the universe, Jesus told the young man, “be raised.” At His command, the soul and spirit of this young man were reunited with his lifeless body. To the amazement of the onlookers, the corpse sat up. His mother‘s tears of mourning turned to tears of joy. She saw her son sit up; then he began to talk. He probably said, “Hi, mom.” Then, seeing her tears, perhaps he spoke compassionately to her, saying, “Please stop crying, mom. I’m okay now. I’m not even sick any more.” All because the Savior of the world happened to come across a funeral procession in the city of Nain.
What impresses you about the account of the widow of Nain? How have you experienced God’s love?