Daily Thought for: 9th October

THE WIDOW OF NAIN

Luke 7. 11-17

This story concerns two crowds. The first was going into the village of Nain with Jesus. The other was a funeral procession leaving the village. It also concerns two ‘only sons’. The first was Jesus the only Son of God, while the second was in the coffin, the only son of a widow. This meeting at the ‘gate’ of Nain had great significance. 

Nain was located in Galilee, approximately five miles south of Nazareth. It was just a small village and was never enclosed by a wall. Thus the ‘gate’ probably means ‘the entrance’ where the road went into the houses. The name ‘Nain’ derives from the Hebrew for ‘pleasant’ and it was certainly situated in pleasant farming country, with lovely views of the landscape. 

She may have lived in the village whose name meant ‘pleasant’, but for this widow her outlook was anything but pleasant. Her future looked bleak, her past had been troubled and her present situation seemed both sad and hopeless. 

In the past she had experienced the heartache of losing her husband. She was left with only one child, a son. Maybe she had lost her husband early in their married life and so had no other children and had made sacrifices to raise that boy. Maybe there had been other children who had all died, multiplying her sadness and deepening her burden. We may have deep trauma in our past that we may wish to ‘blot out’ but, with the Lord’s help, we can learn to cope as we trust Him. 

The widow’s present situation was sad. Her son, described as a ‘young man’, on the threshold of work, had been taken from her. His earning capacity on which a widow would have depended was lost and for her the present was as cruel as the past. How many there are who walk the pathway of sorrow; the world in which we live is such a place! 

Her future looked grim. She would have to live with sorrow, loneliness, poverty and increasing helplessness. There was really nothing for which to look forward. 

Yet in such extremity of need the Saviour came with compassion and power. The boy was raised to life and returned to his mother. Overwhelming grief was turned to joy! 

 

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