Scripture: When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13 (NKJV)

Observation: Jesus left Capernaum, where He had healed the servant of a centurion (Roman army officer).  His disciples, and a large crowd, followed Jesus when He came to the neqarby city of Nain.  As they approached the city they met the funeral procession for a young man, the only son of a widow of that city.  As our text for today states, Jesus had compassion on her (NJKV – He was moved with compassion.  MSG – His heart broke).  So Jesus called the young man to get up, which he did, and He presented her son back to the widow.  Both the crowd that was following Jesus and those that were part of the funeral procession “were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!” (Luke 7:16, MSG).

Application: One can only begin to imagine the pain this woman must have been feeling.  As a widow, she had already lost her husband, her companion, her sustenance.  In a land where men were the breadwinners, she had lost her financial stability, her social status, her future security.  At least she had a son who would provide her with consolation, companionship, albeit not as a life-partner, with income, and thus financial security, and with the knowledge she would have someone to take care of her in her old age.  But now her son was dead and dreams and hopes were shattered as her heart was broken with her overwhelming loss.  When her husband died, at least she had her son left; with her son’s death, she had nothing left.
     Throughout the Bible we find many instances and instructions which show God’s special care for widows. For instance, Exodus 22:22 (NKJV) “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.” 
     God has compassion on widows (Pss. 68:5; 146:9; Prov. 15:25), and therefore we should do the same (Isa. 1:17; 1 Tim. 5:3; James 1:27).  The law provided for widows through a special tithe (Deut. 14:28–29; 26:12–13) and a policy of leaving gleanings during harvest (Deut. 24:19–21). The early church also had a policy of supporting its widows (Acts 6:1).  When a nation and its leaders do so, they are promised a blessing (Deut. 14:29; Jer. 7:5–7); the person or nation that does not is cursed (Deut. 27:19; Job 22:9–11; Jer. 22:3–5; Ezek. 22:7, 15–16; Mal. 3:5; Mark 12:40).
     Jesus’ own mother was widowed.  He knew by watching her mourn the death of her life-companion what pain she had gone through.  This explains why, while hanging on the cross dying, Jesus made careful provision for Mary’s welfare by asking His closest friend, John, to take care of her.
     Widowed people are among the singles in our congregations we sometimes overlook.  Because they have family (children, grandchildren), we sometimes forget that they have special needs.  It is our responsibility, and privilege, to see that they are visited, and their welfare checked and taken care of.  Even if we don’t do everything they need, at least we can connect them to people who can.  And while we primarily think of the widows, we need to remember the widowers – both of these women and men have different and special needs.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank You fro remind us that You care about widows and have made special provision in Your word for the care and support of those who have lost their husband.  Open our eyes to the needs of the widows and widowers in our congregations and in our community, and may we be an extension of Your love for them.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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