How valuable is your life to you? Life is a sacred gift from our Creator (see Genesis 1-2; 9:4-7 and others), and it is not to be considered lightly nor taken from another. Life is such a powerful concept, and such a valuable possession. If we had not been given the precious gift of life, then we would be nothing – no meaning apart from life. Consider how much time, money, and energy we spend to live as long as possible. It is certainly true that “nobody wants to die.” A wasted life may be the most horrible occurrence ever...
After Jesus heals a Centurion's slave, Luke records: “Soon afterward He went to a town called Nain, and His disciples and a great crowd went with Him” (Luke 7:11). Why did Jesus go to Nain? What is special about that location? It would have been a very small town with maybe a couple hundred residents. Did Jesus randomly pick this dot on the map?
John tells us that Jesus “had to pass through Samaria” in order to travel from Judea to Galilee (John 4:4), but most of the Jews would bypass Samaria (due to the animosity between the Jews and Samaritans). Luke later shows Jesus setting His face to go up to Jerusalem...for one last time (Luke 9:51). He was determined to go and to face His cruel suffering at Roman hands. Jesus always had a reason for all that He did...but what was His purpose in travelling to the little village of Nain?
“As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her” (Luke 7:12).
Can you see this funeral procession? Can you feel the pain of a mother who has lost her husband to death and now even her only son (maybe even her only child)? Losing a loved one is horrible, but the utter grief of losing a child is unbearable (see Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10). Can there be any greater sorrow than losing your only son?
“And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.' Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said, 'Young man, I say to you, arise.' And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus presented him to his mother (Luke 7:13-15).
Who interrupts a funeral procession? Who tells a grieving mother to stop crying? Jesus, the one who is life (John 1:4-5), stops the funeral by giving a young man his life back and a widow her young son back. It seems that He could not stand her misery (see Judges 10:16). Notice the way He takes note of her as a person, and then compassionately resurrects her precious child. This is Yahweh in the flesh displaying His wonderful love and compassion on His own creation (Psalm 103:8-14). The King of the universe presents a son to his mother, but how does He do this? Maybe He says, “Woman, behold, your son” (John 19:26), and “Behold, your mother” (John 19:27). Perhaps He silently takes the man's hand and places it in the hand of his mother. What a picture of the Messiah! Do you see the King of glory?
I recall the time when Elijah raised a widow's son from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24). "And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, 'See, your son lives.' And the woman said to Elijah, 'Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth'" (1 Kings 17:23-24). It is interesting to consider the possibility that the place where Elijah raised this young man may have been near the location of First Century Nain...
But this is not Elijah or Elisha...this is the eternal Word (John 1:1-5, 14-18)! One day He will bring about an even larger presentation of the living from the graves. "Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29).
Consider this ultimate presentation one day in the future: "Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power" (1 Corinthians 15:24; see also Ephesians 5:25-27). Will you be a part of that presentation of the holy kingdom to the Father?
"Awe seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has arisen among us!' and 'God has visited his people!' And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country" (Luke 7:16-17).
The reaction of the people is not surprising. Would you not be struck with awe and amazement at the resurrection of this young man by Jesus of Nazareth? But their proclamation was only partly correct. Jesus was not just a great prophet...He was and is THE prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15.
Just as He had promised, Yahweh had returned, but in a much more physical and concrete way than they had ever imagined (John 1:1-5, 14-18). God was literally there in a temple of human flesh! Talk about a visit!
"And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, 'Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation'" (Luke 19:41-44).
Will we recognize our time of visitation? Will God visit us one day in order to punish us for our disobedience to His holy will?
God has visited...and will visit with blessings and beauty. Deity often visits in order to secure a people for His own name (Acts 15:14). Are we willing to recognize our time of visitation?
For His infinite worth,