12
Mar
14

Compassion

I am struck by Jesus’ amazing compassion in today’s story from Luke 7.  A widow is part of a funeral procession for her only son.  She had already known the pain and heartache of losing a husband.  Now she was leading the procession out to bury her only son (mothers walked at the front)!  Her body wracked with sobs.  Her heart torn to shreds.  She is barely able to walk as she cries out to God, “Why?!?”  Her soul feels as though it has been pierced by a double-edged sword.  Her relatives try to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted.  Her only source of joy after the loss of her husband is gone.  Not to mention that there will be no one to take care of her now!  What is she going to do?!?  She is exhausted from mourning.  She wishes that she could die.  What else is there to live for?
As they’re exiting the town gate, there is a commotion.  A huge crowd of people is coming to Nain.  People are shouting and scrambling around one Man.  They’re shouting His name and trying to get close to Him.  They’re loud and boisterous.  Two crowds approaching one another on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum.  One is filled with joy and the other with sorrow.
Then Jesus sees her.  Luke says, “His heart went out to her.”  He stops the crowd.  He silences the celebrants and the mourners.  He says two words to this poor widow, “Don’t cry” (Luke 7:13, NIV).  He sees her and His heart breaks for her.  He has compassion on her.  The Greek word literally means the intestines or guts.  He hurts so badly for her that it causes His insides to ache.
Ancient philosophers would say, “Do not weep, for it does not good.”  Jesus says, “Don’t cry” because He is going to do something good.
He raises her son to life!  He comforts her in her mourning and He rescues her from a life of poverty.
Do you want to know what Jesus is like?  Jesus is kind and compassionate.  He loves us unconditionally and is moved to sympathy by our pain.  Jesus is not mean-spirited.  He is not out to “get” you, except that He wants to “get” you into Heaven.  He is humble and He deals with us gently.  Jesus loves you, this I know!  For the Bible tells us so.  His love is deeper than the ocean and higher than the Heavens.  My prayer for you today is that you would know the compassionate love of the One who died for you.  My prayer for you today is that if you are hurting, He will comfort you and give you peace and strength.  This Jesus who can meet the deepest needs of a mourning widow can meet your deepest needs as well.  Allow Him to comfort you and have compassion on you and love you with His deep, deep love.
  

Luke 7:11-17 (NIV)

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

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

16 They were all filled with awe 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 throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

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