Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession-a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you: Get up.” The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.
They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful-and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!” The news of Jesus spread all through the country. Luke 7:11-17, MSG
There is so much beauty in this passage. I love the compassion, gentleness, and power of Jesus. He brings a son back to life! It’s outstanding! There is worship and the people spread news of him everywhere. Not to mention the parallel to the life and ministry of Elijah. It’s a beautiful story.
What strikes me are two phrases, “When Jesus saw her…” and “he went over and touched the coffin.” Jesus saw woman who by being a widow and without a son was at the lowest level of society. He also touched the coffin. The reality is that he touched the dead body. The “coffin” was a stretcher with the body prepared for burial laying on top. By touching the dead son, Jesus became ceremonially unclean.
I wonder, who does the Father want me to see this week? Who does he want me to touch? By seeing we are moved to compassion. This compassion drives us to action. Who are the widows that are unseen in your life? What are the untouchables that compassion is driving you towards?