Term 2 Week 8

Jesus raises a widow’s son

As Jesus approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out- the
only son of his mother, and she was a widow …. When the Lord saw her, his
heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”(Luke 7:11-17)

The Bible reading given to us this week sees Jesus raise a young man from death. At
first we can easily overlook the richness of the story and I encourage you and your
family to read the story in full in Luke and meditate on it.

The raising of a boy back to life is indeed a great miracle but beyond this we see a
poignant image of Jesus, the son of God. The text records that when he saw the
mother of the boy, a woman who had already lost her husband and had only one son,
“his heart went out to her”. This called Jesus to action. The original Greek word used
here for “his heart going out” really means “a reaction from the gut”. Jesus had
compassion for this woman in her terrible situation.

What we see also is a community gathering around a woman and sharing in her grief.
Jesus too shared a love for this community, and acted to ease their collective pain.

In healing the boy, Jesus crossed a cultural boundary as a follower of Jewish custom by
placing his hands on the dead body in order to bring it to life. It reminds us that Jesus
was never one to be constrained by societal rules or by the need ‘to not get his hands
dirty’.

This Jesus, whose heart went out to this woman and her family, is the same Jesus who
has this care for us all. It is the Jesus whose heart goes out to all of God’s children
across the world who experience pain, suffering and illness.

May we recall that Jesus is for us. He has compassion on his people and loves us
dearly. May we also be mindful of those in our community suffering greatly. Let us
come around them and support them, just as the community did for the widow in this
story.

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