Do Not Weep

Reference: Luke 7: 11- 17

Jesus and His disciples had entered the city of Nain and came upon a funeral procession that was carrying out (for burial) the only son of a widow. When the Lord saw the mother, He immediately felt compassion for her- He was moved to act passionately (“com” or “with”-passion) on her behalf. Obviously, Jesus was aware of her great loss; yet He told the mother, who was also a widow, “Do not weep.” On the surface, it appears to be a strange offer of comfort- not what one would normally say to a grieving mother who had lost her entire family. But Jesus was no ordinary man, He was fully man while at the same time, fully God (we will examine this concept in the next post).

At this point, I will soberly and respectfully speculate about what might have been part of the motivation for these compassionate actions of Jesus:

Because Jesus was fully God, He knew that the son’s mother need not weep; He was about to raise her son and give him back to her! Also, because Jesus was God, He was able to know that He was going to the cross- a cursed tree that He would die upon. He also knew that He would be raised from the dead (see John 12:27 and Mark 10:33-34) and therefore His own mother would not need to weep. Furthermore, He even knew that while hanging on the cross, He would compassionately give His mother into the earthly care of His beloved disciple, John. We read in John 19:26-27 that Jesus looked down at His mother (who was with John) and said, “Behold your son!” and, to John, “behold thy mother!”

I wonder what deep emotions were in the heart of Jesus when He gave the widow’s only son back to her from the dead- could they have been similar to those He would feel as He gave His mother into the care of John? As God, He knew all that was going to happen; as a man, it might have been cathartic to raise the young man of Nain. Catharsis is defined as “a purifying or cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension.” Perhaps this miracle was helpful to the man, Jesus, in preparing Him for the intense trials that lay ahead.