Thursday 09 April 2015

Bible Book:

“Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, rise!’” (v. 14)

Luke 7:11-17 Thursday 9 April 2015

Psalm: Psalm 106


At the heart of this passage is the question 'Who is Jesus?'When the crowd see the miracle they declare that he is a greatprophet. This is a very reasonable conclusion as Jesus' actionswould have reminded the crowd of Elijah who raised the son of thewidow of Zarapheth from the dead (1Kings 17:17-24).

This miracle comes after Jesus has healed the centurion'sservant (Luke 7:1-10) and before John the Baptist asksJesus if he is the "one who is to come?" (Luke7:18-23). We can see that the question about Jesus identity isbeing raised once again. Jesus' reply includes the phrase "... thedead are raised ..." (Luke7:22), and although Jesus does not directly answer John'squestion we can infer that Jesus is offering an affirmativeanswer.

As well as being a remarkable, miraculous act, this raising ofthe widow's son also has great economic and social significance.With the death of all her male relatives, this woman faced utterpoverty and a descent to the weakest end of society. So to raiseher son from the dead was not just an act of compassion for someonewho had lost a loved one, but also a social and economic act inwhich the woman was saved from destitution. In performing thismiracle Jesus was also fulfilling the law which saw widows andothers as a group within society who needed special care (Exodus22:22).

This miracle, like all those in which Jesus raised someone fromthe dead, prefigures his own death and resurrection. We notice howthe bearers stood still when he touched the bier and how he simplycommanded the young man to rise. All of this suggests greatauthority.

Finally, moved with compassion, Jesus told the woman not to weepbefore he raised the young man. We can see how this also prefiguresthe promise of Revelation 21:4: "he will wipe every tear fromtheir eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and painwill be no more, for the first things have passed away".

To Ponder

  • What place if any, can or should miracles have in the life ofthe Church today?
  • What do you think happens when we die?
  • What can you or your church do for those who are bereaved?
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