The widow of Nain ( Luke 7 ) was in a place of great grief and without hope for her future, no-one could comfort her. Maybe you too are locked into grief feeling numb and disconnected. Our God is a God of comfort, and a God of all hope. Set-backs are not the end. Let Christ in - He is able to breathe into a place of death, and bring life and fresh vision. Jesus still works miracles, and restores a broken heart.
Once you’ve opened your Bible with me in the book of Luke, and we’re going to look in chapter 7. Just a few verses, and look at the gospel message.
Verse 11-16 from Luke 7: “Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise. So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”.
So, Jesus has a large crowd of disciples with Him. Wherever Jesus went there were people following Him to see what He would do. In another place, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life.” God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with power. Wherever He went, He interacted with people and revealed the kindness and the heart of God to people.
So, in this story, there’s a city called Nain. The name literally means ‘to be a beautiful place, a pleasant place, or a lovely pasture’. So all the appearances of this place was that it was a beautiful place. Or in other words, it looked very very good. It was an attractive place to come to, but hidden within that attractive place, there was great sorrow and there was great distress.
It’s true also with people. They can look very good, very attractive on the outside, but in the heart carry great sorrow, great grief, great disappointment. So, you may be here tonight and on the outside you look very good. The Bible says – God looks on the heart. So He can see the sadness, He can see what is happening in your life.
I want you to see what happened in this particular story. The story opens with a young man who is dead. The young man represents the next generation. The young man represents the future. The young man represents hope. The young man represents a great future for this woman. The Bible said – His mother was a widow. That means she had lost her husband. She’d suffered a tremendous loss. Lost the one who’d protect her. Lost the one who’d provide for her.
But she had one hope left – and that hope was her son. She’s very proud of her son. She looked forward to watching him grow. She had her hopes set that in the future he would protect her, he would provide for her. She had dreams in her heart, dreams of what he would become, dreams of him marrying, dreams of grandchildren. So she was looking forward to the future. This man, this younger generation represented her hope, her future, her legacy, her provision, her protection. Her life was wrapped up in this young man.
One day, the unthinkable happened. It was one thing to lose her husband, but it’s another thing entirely to lose a child, to lose a son. It sounds from the story like he was a grown young man. Something happened to him, something completely unexpected. He grew sick and then he died.
The day came when all her hopes of the future were taken away. She went into shock. “What will happen to me?” There appears to be no future. There appears to be no hope. She will grow old with no one to care for her. Not only has she lost her son, but she lost her dreams of the future. So the woman went into deep grief. No one could console her. She was grieving over her loss.