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22 Luke 7.11-17

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Luke 7:11-17

READ 7:11-17

v    Here Luke tells us that “soon after” he had healed the Centurion’s servant Jesus Traveled to a small city of Nain

Ø     60 miles south of Capernaum (Several days journey)

§        We are at the point in Jesus’ ministry where he travels from town to town preaching, teaching and healing

·        More and more people hear and follow Jesus

¨     “Large crowds” Luke tells us

Ø     Some following and believing

Ø     Some following a great teacher and healer

§        But a large joyful crowd to be sure

v    And this large crowd comes in contact with another crowd…

Ø     A crowd of mourners being led by a woman…

The Pathos of the Mother

v    You see…

Ø     There had been a death In Nain

§        We’re not told how

·        But we are told a lot of other details…

Ø     Like When

§        Within the last 24 hours

·        Jews got body into the ground within 24 hours of death

Ø     We are also told a little of Who this person was

§        He was a person who meant a lot to many people

·        i.e. Large crowd from the town

§        He was also the son of a widow

·        And this widow was mourning

¨     We mourn, but nothing like the ANE

Ø     Wearing of dark or black suits

Ø     Black arm bands

Ø     Wakes

§        Illustration: I remember the first time I went to a wake

·        Mother of member of my Bible study

·        It was open casket

·        Family crying in corner

¨     ANE mourning was much more visual

Ø     Cutting off hair & beard

§        Symbolic of total loss and slow healing period

Ø     Wearing sack cloth

§        Symbolic of the discomfort you feel

Ø     Loud wailing

Ø     Tearing of cloths

Ø     Putting dust on head

Ø     I also believe that we are given the answer to “Why” this son died…

§        It just so happens at that time that a corpse was being taken out to be buried

·        What a Coincidence!

·        We say that all the time

¨     Luck, Fluke, serendipity, fate, happenstance, karma

¨     I remember one of the strangest coincidences I had…

Ø     Working in Japan met someone from Ridgefield @ NOVA

§        13,000 miles away and I meet a person from a town of 20,000 in CT!

·        But as a Christian, we must know that there is no such thing as a coincidence

¨     No coincidences in Christ

Ø     If you read you Bible you will notice many “coincidences”

§        But are they really???

·        Gen 22 ~ Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac

¨     Coincidentally there was a ram caught in the thicket

·        Gen 24 ~ Abraham sends servant to find wife for Isaac

¨     He stops at a well

¨     Coincidentally Rebecca approaches at that exact time

·        Judges 7:9-25 ~ Gideon afraid of Midianites

¨     Coincidentally overhears dream

·        Ruth 2:3 ~ 2 widows return to Bethlehem Naomi and Ruth

¨     Naomi sends Ruth out to glean in the fields

¨     Coincidentally goes to Boaz’ field

¨     Her kinsman redeemer

Ø     We have to slowly come to the realization that there are no coincidences in Christ

§        That includes your life as well!

·        God knows your past, present and future

¨     This is comforting in Prayer

Ø     Knows your prayer before you even pray them

·        But many have a problem with this beyond prayer

¨     Everything being known by God

Ø     Must understand the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God

Ø     READ Ps 139:1-4

Ø     God knows everything because he is the author of everything

C. S. Lewis in God in the Dock explains this by writing: "In 'Hamlet' a branch breaks and Ophelia is drowned. Did she die because the branch broke or because Shakespeare wanted her to die at that point in the play? Either-both-whichever you prefer. The alternative suggested by the question is not a real alternative at all­ once you have grasped that Shakespeare is making the whole play. He is in control of everything that has happened, is happening and all that will happen!

¨     Augustine explains Yahweh’s knowing everything down to the tiniest detail not as knowing the future…

¨     But that since God is outside of time, everything is the eternal “now”

¨     This makes some people uncomfortable

¨     So uncomfortable that a great heresy has arisen

¨     Openness of God

¨     Endangers the very nature of who God is

Ø     I don’t know about you but I want a God:

§        Who lives in the eternal “now”

§        Who knows the beginning and the end

§        Who is in control the outcome of life

§        Who directs the paths of men

§        Who is intentional in all matters

¨     And that is certainly what is shown in the life of Christ!

Ø     Everything he did

Ø     Everywhere he went

Ø     Everything he said

§        Was for a reason

·        There were no mere coincidences

Ø     Eg:

§        READ John 9:1-3

§        This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life

·        That is exactly what is happening here

¨     RQ: Why did Jesus comes along at this particular time…

Ø     So that the work of God might be displayed in his life

§        We cannot approach life as merely a conglomeration of  coincidences

·        But realize that each encounter

¨     Each meeting

¨     Each person you come across is an opportunity for the work of God to be displayed in their life

·        We all know widow of Nain sons and daughters

¨     Eph 2:1 tells us that before you accept Christ you are dead in your transgressions and sins

Ø     RQ: Do you know someone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?

§        Then the next time you see them know it is not a coincidence

·        Think of this text

¨     Jesus did not happen upon the widow’s son

Ø     It was a so that the work of God might be displayed in his life

§        You are there so that the work of God might be displayed in their life!

v    But many times it is not a convenient time

Ø     We have other things to do

§        Other things that press in on our time

·        But the example we see in our text is that Jesus pities the woman and thus takes time out of his busy schedule

The Pity of Jesus

v    V. 13

Ø     When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

v    Jesus’ compassion drives him to comfort the woman

Ø      Phil 2:1-2

§        If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose

·        What this verse is saying is that…

¨     If you have experienced any comfort from Jesus’ love

Ø     Any sense of belonging or fellowship

Ø     Any of Christ’s tenderness

Ø     If you have experienced the compassion of Jesus in your life…

§        Then be like-minded

·        You’ve heard, “Be like Mike”

¨     Well this text is instructing us to “Be like Jesus”

¨     Do to others as has been done to you

·        Here Jesus takes time to comfort

¨     And we should take time out to comfort those around us as well

Ø     And a lot of times it will not be convenient

§        It will not be the right time

§        The need arises

¨     Not using many words, but just three

Ø     “Do not cry”

§         

v    Jesus’ compassion drives him to sacrifice

Ø     Willing to become unclean

§        Describe ritual uncleanness from touching the corpse

·        Num 19:11, 16

Ø     And that is what compassion boils down to for you and me also…

§        Sacrifice

·        If you have any comfort from Christ’s love, then be like minded and sacrifice

v    Nabokov Illustration

Ø     How often are we so consumed in our schedule that we do not take time out to display the compassion toward people that we should

Ø     Reveals his power…

The Power over death

Ø     5 instances in Scripture of people being brought back from the dead

§        Elijah 1 Kings 17:20-22

·        Gave him to his mother

§        Elisha 2 Kings 4:32-35

·        Gave son to mother

§        Jesus & Jairus’ daughter Mark 5:41

·        “Little girl, I tell you, get up”

¨     Restored the relationship with her father

§        Jesus and Lazarus John 11:43

·        “Lazarus, come out”

¨     Restored to his sisters, Mary and Martha

§        Jesus and the widow from Nain

·        “Young man, I say to you, get up”

¨     Gave him back to his mother

v    Jesus came to conquer sin and death

v    Q: Why would Jesus want to conquer death?

Ø     For the same reason he

§        To restore the family of God


Notes:

Ø     Opinion polls

§        Eg’s

·        Gallup Polls

¨     George Gallup

¨     Everything

·        Quinipiac Poll

·        Pew Charitable Trust

¨     Media & Politics

·        Harris Poll

·        Nielsen ratings

·        Barna

·        CNN

·        Push Polls ~ Used to sway people’s opinion

·        Exit polls

Ø     In the ANE the funeral procession was led by the family

v    And this mother was in mourning!

Ø     I remember the first time I went

Ø     Describe burial process

§        Same day

§        Corpse prepared for burial

§        Placed on Brie (Open coffin)

§        Professional mourners

§        Mother leading procession

Ø     Describe Mother’s situation

§        Widow

§        No son

§        No means

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