Harmony of the Gospels

 The Harmony of the Gospels

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Nain
(19) Raises Widow’s Son from the Dead
(Job 19:25) Luke 7:11-17

 

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:25)

Job’s words were prophetic, because The Redeemer did stand upon the earth.  He came as a man to save men from their sins.  Job’s hope was to see God, and if he was alive when Jesus stood upon the earth, he would have.  Our Lord did many miracles, but possibly the greatest were those times that he confirmed that He was master over death.  He conquered death four times, that we know of; raising Jairus’ daughter, calling Lazarus out of his tomb, and the incident that follows-raising the son of the widow of Nain.  But of course, the greatest accomplishment of all took place three days after He was crucified, and it is His resurrection from the dead that affirms that He can save us and keep us saved.

And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.  Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.  And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.  And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.  And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.  And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. (Luke 7:11-17)

 

And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. (Luke 7:11)

“And it came to pass the day after,”-It is the day after He cured the centurion’s servant. 

“that he went into a city called Nain;”-It is situated in the vicinity of Mount Tabor, and the Kison River.

“and many of his disciples went with him,”-He was not only accompanied by the twelve, but by many others. He had many disciples, but only twelve were apostles.

“and much people.”-There were many with Him that lived in Capernaum, who followed Him in anticipation of seeing a miracle, or for other reasons.  They did not believe in Him; He would describe them as “hearers only”, and they were not included with the disciples. 

 

Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. (Luke 7:12)

“Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city,”-He had arrived at the city of Nain, and was by the city gate.

“behold, there was a dead man carried out,”-The Jew’s burial places were situated at some distance outside their cities.  They had different customs for carrying out those that were to be buried, that depended upon their age.  A child under a month old was carried in the arms of a person; if a full month old in a little coffin, which was carried in their arms; a child of twelve months old was carried in a little coffin on the shoulder, and one of three years old on a bier or bed; and so it progressed.  It was in this manner that this corpse was carried, through the gate and out of the city.

“the only son of his mother,”-It was a scene of great sorrow and mourning, made worse, because the dead man was an only son.  There was another son that was mourned, but He was the “Only Begotten Son” of God, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)
 
“and she was a widow:”-
If she was a widow, and had been cared for by her only son, then she had undergone a significant loss.  Women could not work, at this time; therefore, without a man to support them, they were wholly dependent upon relatives and friends for support.   They couldn’t stay alive without charity from others, because they did not have rights and could not own anything.

“and much people of the city was with her”-The funeral procession was large, indicative of a man that was popular and may have been a prominent citizen, known by many.  Those that were to bear the coffin, most likely had assistants, who were obliged to accompany them, and they changed bearers, if they had to go a great distance, which was often the case.  There were some that went before the casket, and others went after it.  What's more, there were traditions that worked to increase the size of funeral processions.  Those that could afford it, employed professional mourners, who continually cried out how wonderful the person was, and how great a tragedy his death was.  Also, it was considered an act of kindness and mercy to follow a corpse to the grave.  Furthermore, there was a prohibition against doing any work, while someone was being buried, even if he was a common person.

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. (Luke 7:13) “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her,”-Because He was God, and He knew all about her; that she was a widow and had lost her only son.

“and said unto her, Weep not.”-He said this, because He was going to help her, even though she did not ask Him. 

 

And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. (Luke 7:14)

“And he came and touched the bier:”-Christ laid a hand on the casket as a sign for the bearers to stop.  This act may have surprised those that were there, because Jewish Law prohibited touching a dead body, or the bone of man, or a grave, “And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be un-clean seven days.” (Numbers 19:16)
 
“and they that bare him stood still.”-
It must have been a moment of suspense and wonder, for His disciples and the crowd.

“And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.”-Our Lord spoke as a man who had the keys of death and the grave.  His divine power went along with His words.  One of the proofs of His deity was that He raised men from the dead.

 

And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. (Luke 7:15)

“And he that was dead,”-He was dead, or they never would have brought him out of the city to bury him.  But it was now clear to everyone that he was alive.

“sat up and began to speak.”- He sat up, just like the daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus.  He arose and spoke; obeying immediately, the command to live.  Setting up and speaking were proofs that he was alive.

“And he delivered him to his mother.”- Jesus, after that, took him by the hand and presented him to his mother.  It was for her sake that He raised him from the dead.  Christ revealed His power in raising him from the dead, but through delivering him alive to his mother He displayed kindness and tenderness. 

And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. (Luke 7:16)

“And there came a fear on all:”-All of those who were there and saw what Jesus had done were filled with wonder, because they knew that only the incredible power of God could make one that was dead, live again.

“and they glorified God,”-They praised Christ, and attributed this remarkable event to divine power, and gave God the glory for it.  Some received Him as the Messiah, because of this miracle, and they worshiped Him.

“saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us;”-They were right in saying that He was the great prophet.  Moses wrote of Him, and said, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deu-teronomy 18:15, 18)  They understood that God had been gracious to them, and sent them a Messiah, who they hoped would deliver them from the Roman yoke.

And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and through-out all the region round about. (Luke 7:17)

“And this rumour of him”-That is to say, the account of this astounding event; of raising a man from the dead who was being carried to the grave.

“went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.”-His reputation spread; not only in Judea, but to the countries surrounding the Jordan River; especially Galilee.


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