“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.” Luke 7:11-15
Your Master is the complete package. In His mortal life, He wielded the limitless power of God – and look how He used it! Can you think of a time that He ever used His awesome power to please Himself or make Himself happy? He never used His authority to conjure up a quicker way to travel than walking, to make a miraculous feast to enjoy, to enchant women to fawn over Him, or to influence people to make a fortune for Himself. He was always determined to love Father and others.
I invite you to look carefully at the scene described in Luke’s narrative quoted above. See the tenderness of your Master’s heart toward this grieving and desperate widow. She didn’t ask Him for help. She didn’t turn to Him for a miracle. This was a rare occasion in Jesus’ ministry: He initiated a miraculous healing without being asked. No one had to show their faith in Him. The heartbreaking scene moved our Master to act in a way no one could have expected.
“His heart went out to her.” This is compassion. This is the heart of our Father beating in the chest of His Son. Our Father is the guardian of the widow and orphan, and our Master was moved to act on her behalf. Don’t you love Him for this? Doesn’t your heart worship as you picture this scene unfolding? His words, “Don’t cry,” weren’t mere sentiment. He told her not to cry because He was about to give her a gift of unspeakable joy. He was about to give her son life and, in a very real way, give her life.
As you live your life as a disciple of Jesus today, let this tender picture of your Master remind you of the kindness, generosity, and compassion that He has called you to practice and embody. Those who are weak, harassed, needy, and down-hearted are the ones to whom our hearts should go out. When we are moved inwardly with a yearning for the best of others, we are experiencing the nature of God Himself. This yearning must become action, though. Ours is not just a sympathetic God; He is a saving God. He acts on His sympathy just as Jesus did on that day when He encountered the funeral procession. May your heart be moved by the need you see around you today, but may your hands and feet be moved to action as well. In doing good, we bring honor to our Father, we become like our Master, and we bring blessing to a world that desperately needs it.
Keeping my eyes and heart open with you to the needs all around us,