Luke 7: 11 – 17
Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 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. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 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!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 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.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
It was customary when two parades met that they joined and became one. So with her parade of tears and his parade of joy, which would lead? But his heart went out to her since a widow was the most vulnerable in society and often really poor. To have her son die meant that he would not marry and then she would have no one to care for her in her old age. He reaches out and grabs hold of the bier to stop them – he the Lord of life is not defiled by death but instead is checking it. What she feared the most would have come to pass… perhaps even that which she and her son feared the most. But perfect love casts out fear and so Jesus, full of light and life, brings him back from the dead and then gives him to his mother. They proclaimed as would Muslims today “a great prophet has risen amongst us.” And the parade of joy continued with death swallowed up in the light! Check out your greatest fears and bring them to the light… then rest with the Lord of Life and death. Truly with God on our side, who can be against us?
Noon Day Prayers Question
What is your greatest fear? Stop and consider, even picture it in your imagination. Now bring Jesus into that picture. Stay with Jesus and your greatest fear for a bit. Surrender yourself to his love and protection.
Luke 7: 18 – 23
John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Our expectations, our beliefs, our desires all can cause us to stumble when God is doing something new. As human beings, we need our reliable frames of reference and our intellectual grasp of what is real, valuable, meaningful, etc. But what do we do when the one whose ways are way above ours and whose thoughts are way above ours, moves afresh among us? Surely we desire God to “break in”? Blessed are those who do not stumble when God moves among us today!
Heavenly Father open our hearts that we might see beyond our preconceived notions, beyond our intellectualizing, beyond our personal preferences, beyond all the things that get between us and recognizing God doing something marvelous! Come Holy Spirit, Come!