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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2000

The Widow's Son

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Across the valley from Nazareth stood the small town of Nain, one day, two crowds met each other just outside the city gate. At the head of one crowd was death. A young man-a widow’s only son-lay lifeless on a stretcher. At the head of the other crown was the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15-Jesus of Nazareth).

As Christ approached the funeral procession, no one said anything. All they could hear were the cries of the poor widow. And she was poor indeed, because without a husband or a son she would be left to fend for herself. But Jesus looked on her with compassion. He commanded her to stop crying. “Do not weep,” He said. No ordinary man could have said this. We might have told her not to cry, but we couldn’t do anything to help. It was different for Jesus. He could do something about this. He touched the stretcher and gave another command: “Young man, I say to you arise.” And straightaway the dead man came back to life.

Jesus truly did a wonderful thing. He gave the man his life. He gave Hope to the widow. And he demonstrated the power of God. There were many there that day and all of them could see what Jesus had done. The citizens of Nain knew that the man was dead. They were not followers of Jesus, so they had no reason to think He was special. But when they saw this miracle, they recognized the power of God in what Jesus had done.

From what happened that day we can learn three important features of miracles:

·    First, Miracles had a definite purpose. They were God’s signpost. “The very works that I do,”            Jesus said, “bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36). The raising of the            widow’s son showed that Jesus was special.

·    Second, Miracles were something we would expect form God. He told us that these miracles            would happen, and He told us why they would happen (Isaiah 35:5; 42:7). The writer C.S. Lewis          said something neat about this: “God does not shake miracles into Nature at random as if from a        pepper caster.” We would expect God to show that Jesus of Nazareth was the Chosen One. We        would expect Him to show compassion on the poor widow.

·    Third, miracles fit God’s grand plan. It wasn’t just that something strange happened outside Nain        that day. It was something that confirmed the Good News that Jesus had come to preach (Luke        7:22)

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