"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." Luke 7:11-16
First, we see Christ Jesus our Lord- Faithful. The text says, "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." Jesus can be entrusted with the souls of people. Many needy folk trampled along beside and behind, but the Son of God could be relied upon to meet their needs. At what time did Christ ever misappropriate the souls of men? He never led any astray. He never oppressed a soul for greedy purposes. O! That this could be said of His disciples! God wants to entrust needy people to the care of His disciples. God wants to entrust the Christian husband and father with a wife and children. He wants to entrust the pastor with a flock, the teacher with a class, the mother with children, the singles with friends. He wants children to be able to come up close to those older than themselves and find godly comfort, correction, instruction, and help. Much people followed Jesus. What a thought! Can much people follow you and me, or will God have to keep them back from following us lest we oppress, abuse, and neglect them? Let us be faithful in all things, but particularly in caring for the spiritual and physical welfare of others.
Second, we see Christ Jesus our Lord- Compassionate. The Bible says, "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." Being a widow in the days of Scripture was not like being a modern day American widow. If the husband was not alive, the son was expected to care for his mother, but should there be no son, she would often be at the mercy of others. This sheds some light on Paul's statement in I Timothy, "Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day." Paul encouraged widows to cast themselves upon the care and mercy of God, and in this passage, God shows himself faithful to the needs of this widow in bringing Christ her way that fateful day. The verb had compassion comes from a root which means bowels or entrails. In fact, the noun form is translated bowels many times (see I J. 3:17). As Christ looked upon this poor woman in her heartache and woe, His bowels yearned for her. He felt a deep, deep pity for her needs. In the Old Testament, God is said to be full of compassion (Ps. 111:4). This word comes from a root which means womb. The pity and compassion that God has for people is a sincere, deep compassion which is motivated by a love that none of us can fully understand. God wants every believer to allow the love of God to flow from his heart. Someone who cannot love people is said to be lost according to I J. 3:15-17. A believer that is not walking with the Lord will also gloss over the needs of people and be severely lacking in his compassion. Let us allow the love of God to flow from our lives. May it touch lost and saved souls alike.
Thirdly, we see Christ Jesus our Lord- Victorious. After Jesus had comforted the widow verbally, He then followed through with action, "And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still." He touched a coffin?! Such things would have been unthinkable to the Old Testament Jew, because a dead body and anything associated with it were considered unclean and brought about ceremonial defilement (Num. 19). This, however, did not affect the Son of God because He is the Prince of Life. He is absolutely victorious over the death that sin has brought about. Consider this passage concerning Christ's victory over sin, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes (Ho. 13:14)." Commenting on this passage, Paul wrote, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory (I Co. 15:54-55)?" By the power of God, Christ is absolutely victorious in all things. This principle should govern our lives as well. The submitted Christian who is walking with God in humble faith can come to God for victory and strength in any situation. However, rebellion and disobedience are robbers of power. Christ did always those things that please the Father and so He could expect God's blessing, but a life which is not crucified will not be empowered. Let us deny ourselves, take up our cross in the power of the Spirit and go forth, trampling under foot the lion, and the adder, and the serpent (Ps. 91:13). "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." The work backed up the words. Christ does not merely speak of power, He shows it. A Christian who is truly walking with God will also demonstrate this same principle. They will not simply speak of God's greatness, their lives will demonstrate it.
Lastly, we see Christ Jesus our Lord- Submitted. Christ was always submitted to the will of the Father. In the order of the God-head, this is how the Lord has chosen it to be. In Christ being submitted to the will of the Father, His actions prompted two responses from the people. First, they feared God. "And there came a fear on all...." True spiritual works will prompt a reverent response, not a fleshly feeling. Too many so-called revivals, seminars, services, gatherings, and meetings are plagued with the stench brought about by the death of man's works; which are performed in pride and pretence. Secondly, "...they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited His people." They gave God all the glory for what was done. Man-centered works prompt man-centered movements, but works performed through the power of God will stand out as unusual. We all need to step down from the thrones of our hearts and allow God, the King, to step up. He must be glorified and He must be honored in all that we do.
The crucified life will demonstrate the character of Jesus in all things, but the life that is holding onto self will attempt to pick and choose what part of Jesus it wants. This cannot be done with any success. Let us flee in humble faith to Christ our Example.