31 – Raises Widows Son

When: Summer, 28 AD
Where: Nain, Galilee
Matthew, Luke,


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Jesus went on a journey through Galilee. From Capernaum he traveled southwest past Mount Tabor, and saw before him the Hill of Moreh. Just off to his left, with it’s back to the north face of the hill, was a walled town called Nain [today], where most people were farmers, a few were herders, and a few were craftsmen.

Men were expected to do the work. It was assumed that women had a man to support them [a father, a husband, a son]. Women, without a male person to care for them, faced serious difficulties. There was no government pension, no Social Security, no interest from stocks or bonds.

At Nain there was a widow that had one son upon whom she was totally dependant. Two days ago her only son had died. Not only was her heart ‘broken’ again, but now she had no one to care for her. She would become a beggar among her relatives. She was inconsolable. And those who knew her, grieved with her.

Jesus knew about the death. Yesterday, in Capernaum, Jesus had heard of the death and he decided to come to Nain. The disciples had known the young man who had come to listen to Jesus teach.

The body of her son was wrapped in linen according to the law and traditions, and was carried out of the town on a stretcher [a blanket, 2 poles, and 4 men] to the cemetery for burial. As the funeral procession came out through the city gate [today], Jesus saw the young man’s mother, and his chest constricted as he thought of that woman’s anguish.

Jesus walked right up and touched the stretcher, swallowed to clear his throat, and told the corpse to arise. When the young man sat up and said, “What happened?” it scared the four men, who immediately set the stretcher down (before they dropped it) and backed away. Some of the folks unwrapped the young man. His surprised and grateful mother hugged her son and thanked Jesus.

Some of the people of Nain then recalled their local history and praised God for remembering them, by sending another great prophet.

What did they recall? Who was the great prophet they remembered?

They recalled how Elisha, the last of the Great Prophets, had brought back from death, the only son of a woman from neighboring Shunem [today]. Shunem was scarcely a five-mile walk around the Hill of Moreh and only 1 1/2 miles over the hill.

Now here was Jesus using the power of God to help the people of God. And the news spread like wildfire.


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