Year C (Proper 5 , Pentecost +3)
Context: Jesus is in the midst of his public ministry.
Location: Jesus comes from Capernaum (7:1) to Nain (7:11).
Characters: (Principle) Jesus, Widow, Widow’s Son. (Other) Disciples, Large Crowd.
7:11- Jesus travels south from capernaum to Nain. He is becoming well known as evidenced by the large crowds following him, in addition to the disciples. But, the question is do they know who he is or are they just wanting food and healing? Edit:
7:12- There is a parallel to Elijah who raised a widow’s son (1 King 17:8-24). Immediately this story gets very tragic. We learn that the dead person is an only son, then that his mother is a widow. According to custom the young man would have been carried to the tomb on the same day he dies, so the tragedy is very fresh. But the mother has support, the town is standing behind her.
7:13-Jesus‘ first reaction is to have compassion on her. It’s odd that he tells her “Do not weep.” Today, this is the least comforting thing a person can say to one who is grieving.
7:14- Jesus ignored the cleanliness laws by touching the casket. We see here another example of the power of Jesus’ spoken word, he speaks the change he wants.
7:15- We see the result of Jesus‘ creating word. Not only does the young man sit up he speaks. Death is halted with the word of Jesus. The young man responds by getting up from the death bed.
7:16- The crowed is right to fear; Jesus has done something that is not normal. He has brought the dead back to life. But also, they recognize the source of his power and praise God. Calling Jesus a prophet fits within the scope of the Lukan understanding that Jesus is the one who joins in the mission of God. The people rightly attribute the work of Jesus to the work of God.
7:17- Jesus starts to become famous for these acts. This is both expected and ominous. It is his fame that will get him noticed by the religious authorities and eventually put to death.
Jesus’ words brought a dead young man to life and he brings life today. What is our response to life? Do we lay in our caskets or do we immediately get up?
Later Edition: What happens when a parade of life meets a procession of death? What do we care in our procession of death? What is in our caskets?