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 coffin, and the bearers stood still. And he said,
“Young man, I say to you, arise.”
Luke 7:13-14 (context, vv. 11-17)
Widows who had no family to support them had it rough. This woman’s husband had died and now her only son was gone. A widow was forced to rely on relatives to meet their needs, but now she had no one. She was all alone and faced a very difficult life. She was vulnerable. And now she saw her only son being carried out of the city to be buried.
The two groups came together. Jesus and His group of disciples were going into Nain and met the funeral procession coming out. Jesus came to the woman as she led the crowd. She was weeping as she walked. I have to believe that His heart met hers.
Jesus response to her was mercy and compassion.
I really think His heart was broken for her. He immediately stopped the funeral march and went straight to her to comfort and console. Apparently no one else took up this. Yet Jesus went to her. That really encourages me.
The body had been washed and rubbed with aromatic spices. His hair had been combed and his fingernails had been clipped. He had been carefully wrapped in linen according to Jewish custom. He had been placed in an open funeral bier, to be carried to the grave site.
Nain was an interesting place. Just a few miles away the prophet Elisha had raised the dead by laying on the corpse repeatedly, 2 Kings 4:32-35. Jesus however, raises the dead with a simple sentence. I think that is interesting. It shows that the power of God that resides in the person of Jesus.
God cares for people.
Obviously Jesus is a full and complete member of the Trinity. He possesses all power and strength. He is the Word and the Creator of everything in the universe. And yet we see that this all powerful one is full of mercy and compassion. He loves widows and orphans. He loves people, and understands their needs. He rolls up His sleeves and enters into their pain and misery.
I suppose the compassion that Jesus has is the most intriguing part of Matthew 7. God loves people intensely. He intervenes in their lives. He meets needs that no one else can understand. He possesses all power and has an infinite amount of love. He can be trusted to meet every need. After all, He can raise the dead with a few simple words.
“His is a loving, tender hand, full of sympathy and compassion.”