Many articles have been written about things to say, and things to avoid saying, to those who have lost a loved one. Those close to them want to communicate their love and concern, yet sometimes, saying nothing and just being there is the greatest gift they can give. Grieving people often feel totally alone, and they merely need to know that someone sees and feels their pain. The presence of another person, a few words spoken at the right time, or both can be the most profound way to comfort.
- What is a way that someone has comforted you in a time of loss?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 7:11-17 (ESV)
11 Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What do you learn about the mother in verse 12?
- What was Jesus’ response when he saw the mother (vs. 13)? What can we learn from Jesus’ response to the grieving woman?
- What did Jesus say to the dead young man? What happened next (vss. 14, 15)?
- What response did the crowd have after what they had seen (vs. 16)?
- What would be your response if Jesus did something miraculous in your life?
RESPOND TO GOD
This woman had suffered two tragic losses: her husband and now her son, leaving her destitute with no means of support. Her grief was great, but Jesus’s compassion was greater. He approached her with comfort and grace. Neither she nor any of the crowd asked him to intervene; in fact, the mother never speaks a word in the text. But Jesus saw and understood her pain, and that prompted him to give life back to her son. Then the words came: the son sat up and began to speak; the crowd glorified God and told the story all over Judea. Jesus sees pain and brings hope in the middle of despair. The only response to that is to praise him and to tell others what he has done.
- Thank God for times in your life when he has brought hope in the middle of despair.
- Ask God for opportunities to give him praise and credit for the hope that you have received.