Raised from the dead
After Jesus had healed the Centurion’s servant, he moved on with his disciples to a town called Nain. The local name for this town meant ‘pleasant’ and it was situated just south west of Nazareth. Unfortunately unpleasantness had come to Nain, in the form of the death of a young man. The Garden of Eden was a pleasant, perfect place for Adam and Eve. God described his creation; that it was very good, but unpleasantness came into that pleasant place. Sin brought death and corruption into that relationship with God.
Jesus is now about to reveal more of his ministry to his disciples and the crowds of people about him. Luke mentions two crowds – one following Jesus and one following the dead body for burial. You can almost hear Luke say “you want witnesses?”, there can be no disputing what comes next. In looking at the situation, Jesus has compassion on the woman who is a widow. A widow who has lost her only son which means she is destitute with no prospect of any income, so no life in the future. Jesus in showing compassion shows the nature of his heart, a heart in tune with his Father God. I believe compassion can’t be taught but it can be caught as it is an outpouring from a heart. We have the perfect example in Jesus. His compassion was, for a further reason, due to the fact he understood the nature of the curse that sin had brought into the world, bringing death and hopelessness, he related to the circumstances totally.
Jesus touches the bier carrying the dead body and Luke says the bearers stood still. You can almost hear them say “he is unclean and cannot be amongst us”; Jesus had become unclean under the old covenant. The new covenant, which Jesus is bringing in here, shows that the unclean is made clean in God’s eyes through Jesus; he doesn’t become unclean, the dead are restored to life. His restoring to life foreshadows his own resurrection which has broken the curse of sin and death!
Compare this miracle with 1 Kings 17 v 17-24, the exact words between the two passages. This miracle should answer the question of Jesus identity to the crowds.
All these events have been communicated back to John the Baptist who it would seem is having a crisis of faith, after the conviction of his words when Jesus was baptised by him. He is probably in prison at this time so is not seeing events first hand and consequently he is shaken. John asks the question “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Jesus doesn’t answer directly or berate John for lack of faith. John certainly carried out the wisest course of action and that was asking Jesus. This is always our wisest course of action as well!
Jesus responds with evidence
- Blind receive sight
- Lame walk
- Lepers are cleansed
- Deaf hear
- Dead are raised
- Poor have good news preached to them.
He reminds him of Old Testament Prophecy – Isaiah 29 v 18, 35 v 5 – 6, 42 v 18; in other words Jesus is indeed the coming one predicted in the Old Testament.
Does Jesus offend you?
“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me” -v 23.
Ask Him who He is, ensure you are certain of who He is and that your image of Him is correct. The searching of Scriptures will ensure the correct answers including who we are in our relationship with Him. The Word and the Holy Spirit together will release you from any doubts.