Hope for Our Future: Luke 7:11-17

Focus Passage: Luke 7:11-17 (NIrV)

11 Some time later, Jesus went to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 He approached the town gate. Just then, a dead person was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother. She was a widow. A large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her. So he said, “Don’t cry.”

14 Then he went up and touched the coffin. Those carrying it stood still. Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk. Then Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16 The people were all filled with wonder and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread all through Judea and the whole country.

Read Luke 7:11-17 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

Part of me wonders why Jesus performed certain miracles. In several places, we read that Jesus healed people based on the level of faith present, and there are some places that indicate that the lack of faith actually stopped Jesus from healing. But not everywhere that Jesus worked had faith. It may surprise you, but the event this passage covers is one such event – there is no mention of faith before or after the young man’s resurrection here in the gospel of Luke.

If no faith was present, why would Jesus step outside of the norm to resurrect this only child?

There are two clues in this passage that tell us why Jesus may have done this.

The first is that Jesus felt sorry for her. This was the only son of this mother. No father is mentioned, so it is possible that the mother was a widow. The only family she had may have been this son who had just died, and Jesus knows that her boy was very special to her. This may be one reason why Jesus resurrected this young man.

The other reason is found in the crowd’s reaction following the miracle. We read that “the people were all filled with wonder and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’” (v. 16)

The crowd gave praise and glory to God. While Jesus was the instigator of this miracle, those present knew that only God’s power could have done what had just happened, and this leads them to give God the praise. In other places, Jesus appears to avoid performing miracles because He knows that those wanting the miracle simply want to put more focus and emphasis onto Him and His ability. Jesus avoided scenarios like this.

In this event, we read that the praise went to the only valid place for it to go: the praise went to God and God alone. For this reason, Jesus resurrects this young man, and in this miracle that Luke includes, we see how God both loves those who are hurting, and He reaches down to help in practical ways.

While not everyone who has died will be resurrected before Jesus returns, those who have fallen asleep with their hope, faith, and trust in Jesus are promised a future resurrection and a new “eternal life” with God in heaven. Jesus’ resurrection that day proves that this is possible, and it is one reason we can trust Him with our future life in heaven.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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