Flights of Faith

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't Cry, Someone Is Here to Help Us

Jesus Raises a Widow's Son

11Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."
14Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" 15The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." 17This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea[a] and the surrounding country.

This story is quickly becoming one of my favorite scriptures. If one of your life goals is to follow Jesus, I think it's very encouraging. In our society, we usually ask questions of "Is this God's will", "what would Jesus do?", "Do I need to hear an audible voice to go ahead with this good work?" In some ways, those are still helpful questions. However, they take time when asked in the moment. And it's time we usually do not have. In this story, Jesus behaves very differently.


- is moved by a situation where all is not known
- vocalizes that emotion
- follows up his speech with action
- speaks to the problem directly, not God's opinion about the problem
- quietly speaks and performs truths about who he is (human and divine; compassionate and powerful) without religiosity or manipulation

Jesus is a teacher with authority. In this authority, I think there is an everyday preparation. Why am I here? Who sent me? What am I about? What can I do about that? From these mission statement type questions, I think Jesus and his followers can act quickly while still being obedient to God. They know their Father.

And given these passages:

1When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1-2)

19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:19-20)

8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

We have the same authority too. Unity in and through the name of Jesus, God's son, connected to us through the Holy Spirit. It's an authority that does not come through theologizing until a conclusion is made. It is an authority that comes from doing what the Father is doing. And if we have trouble with that thought, we can look at what the Father is doing with child-like eyes.

What seems wrong when you're three feet tall? Your parents getting sick, people fighting because of different colors, nations not sharing, people seeming to be caught up in sadness or mood swings. A lot of stuff has a huge "smack fist on table" that-is-wrong quality about it. Then, we get used to it. People tell us this is the way that life is.


Jesus seems to be warming those surrounding him in these passage. Don't cry. I am here. I am help. The boy can live through me. Assurance that love is stronger than death. A memorial can be not just a celebration (at its best, that is), but NEW memories. Life continues.

And the people shout out, full of hope, "God has come to help his people!"

Isn't that worth trying this Jesus authority stuff out? I think it is. Let's do it together.


Blogger Obinna said...

Jealousy unyielding as the grave. Thanks for this post, Josh.

10:19 AM  

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