Luke 7:11-17 (Sermon Scraps)

by jpserrano on June 4, 2013 · 2 comments

Year C (Proper 5 [10], Pentecost  +3)
Luke 7:11-17

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 NainHe 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.

Final Thoughts:
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?


What kind of thought scraps do you have for this weeks Gospel?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy Cottingham June 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Comparing Elijah’s raising of the widow’s son to Jesus’ raising of the widow’s son.
Elijah: no one else present but Elijah, the widow and the son. Jesus: a crowd was there.
Elijah: the widow entreated Elijah. Jesus: the widow doesn’t ask for anything
Elijah: prayed to God to raise the son. Jesus: spoke and the son revived
Elijah: carried the son away from the mother. Jesus: revived the son in front of everyone
Elijah: touched the son. Jesus: touched the bier
Both gave the son to his mother.
Elijah: the widow proclaimed Elijah a man of God. Jesus: the people were seized with fear and then glorified God.
Elijah: no record of widow telling anyone about the miracle. Jesus: the crowd spread the word about Jesus to all of Judea.
Conclusions: Elijah is a man of God, able to perform miracles and signs by God’s power. Jesus IS God and performs the miracles and signs because of great compassion within himself.
And there are innumerable other conclusions to draw about Jesus’ divinity and fulfillment of the prophetic promises of the Hebrew scripture.


jpserrano June 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Dorothy, this is great side by side comparison of the two pericopes. Thanks for adding to my sermon scraps.



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