Jesus Plus Nothing Bible Studies
Jesus Encounters: The widow's son and the future resurrection
by I Gordon
Luke chapter 7 records an encounter Jesus had with a widow that had just
experienced a second great loss. This woman
had first lost her husband but then lost her only son. It is a very dramatic
scene. Jesus came into the town of Nain right at the time when the coffin of
the dead man was being carried out of the town. But, as we shall see, with
Jesus even death is not the end! Now each resurrection story in the Bible
teaches something about the future resurrection. So in this short (argh,
very short) study I just want to explore this thought. I want to look at
this story from Luke's gospel and see what it can teach about the coming
resurrection of believers. Here is the passage:
Luke 7:11-17 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His
disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. (12) Now
as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the
only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the
city was with her. (13) When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her,
and said to her, "Do not weep." (14) And He came up and touched the coffin;
and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, "Young man, I say to you,
arise!" (15) The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back
to his mother. (16) Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God,
saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited His
people!" (17) This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all
the surrounding district.
Something beautiful will happen
Luke 7:11 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples
were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd.
The story starts as Jesus comes into the city of Nain. The word Nain means
'beauty' or 'pleasant'. Not many would have thought of it as 'beautiful' or
'pleasant' at this exact time however because a funeral is underway.
The only son of a widow has died and this pleasant place has been filled
with unbelievable grief and sadness. In many ways, this scene pictures this
world. It was created in beauty by the hand of God. It was a pleasant place
ideally suited for mankind. But sin has turned the experience towards grief
and sadness in many circumstances. However, Jesus has a plan! He had a plan
for this widow to turn this moment of grief to rejoicing and He has a plan
for this world to restore its beauty.
No more crying...
Luke 7:12-13 Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being
carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable
crowd from the city was with her. (13) When the Lord saw her, He felt
compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep."
the surface, it looks like Jesus has arrived too late. If He had been there
earlier, maybe the man wouldn't have died? Of course, that is taking a mere
human look at this scene for Jesus knew what He was going to do and arrived
exactly when He wanted to! But though He knew what He would do, He was still
touched by the loss of this woman. He 'felt compassion' for her. But let's
look at the command given by Jesus to the widow and the crowd - "Do not
weep". What would that mean for us? This reminds us of the resurrection of believers to come where there
will be no more tears, no more crying. Here are a couple of the great
promises for those that believers in Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will
wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His
people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 65:18-20 "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For
behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness. (19)
"I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will
no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. (20)
"No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old
man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one
hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be
All it takes is one command...
Luke 7:14 And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a
halt. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise!"
When Jesus saw the man that had died in his coffin, He spoke to him saying
'young man, I say to you arise!' This command was given to one man and he
had to respond. In the future resurrection the command will be given to all
believers and all will respond! The one who holds the keys of death and hell
will command all to come forth from the grave.
John 5:24-29 "Truly, truly, I
say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal
life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into
life. (25) "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when
the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will
live. ...(28) "Do not marvel at this; for an hour
is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, (29) and
will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life,
those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the
Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice
of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ
will rise first.
Reserved? You won't be!
Luke 7:15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to
There are two important points in this short verse
that point to what is to come.
we will speak! We don't know what this young man said but I have a sneaky
suspicion that he was praising Jesus! On the day that believers are
resurrected, we will praise God. We will not be restricted like we can be
now but will be unreserved in our praise of our Savior!
point to note is the message of reconciliation - The mother received back
her son. Imagine all the young ones that have died, either in childbirth or
as young children who will then be restored. So many families torn apart due
to death. The resurrection will be the ultimate reconciliation where the
loved ones are brought back together again. But more than that - it will be
the ultimate reconciliation between God and His children! Sin brought such a
terrible separation. Death entered because of sin. Those that believe in
Jesus Christ have been reconciled back to God but we await the return of
Jesus before we see Him face to face with the entire family of God together!
Salvation fully realised!
Luke 7:16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet
has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."
We need to remember that there was a large crowd that was going along with
this funeral and they were all previously filled with grief and sadness. But
what started in grief, ended with glory. Hearts that had been pierced were
now filled with praise! Anguish was replaced with awe. So it will with all
believers. The grief of this life will be replaced with glorifying God. We
will praise like we have never done so before. God will certainly help His
1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you
may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (7) These have come so
that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though
refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and
honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (8) Though you have not seen him, you
love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are
filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (9) for you are receiving the
goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.