Jesus sees a widow crying over the death of her son. She barely has enough tears for this loss, having lost her husband. Now, she’s mourning the loss of her son, the only man in her life. She is preparing to live alone, unprotected in the town of Nain. Jesus tells her, “Don’t cry.” (Luke 7:13, HCSB) Then the Lord approaches to touch the open coffin being carried along by pallbearers. He looks at the young man, and commands him, “I tell you, get up!” (Luke 7:14) The widow’s son sits up and speaks. “And Jesus gives him to his mother.” (Luke 7:15)
Jesus has compassion on this widow. He may also have felt sadness for the young man, but His focus appears to be primarily on relieving the widow from her plight. She is overwhelmed with loss of love — the love of her spouse, the devotion of her child. The pain she bears moves Jesus to action. He touches the coffin and commands the dead to return to life.
Perhaps Jesus tells the young man in that small phrase, “I tell you” that He’s sorry to pull the young man back from paradise, that He’s sorry to ask the young man to return to earth so as to be a supportive son to his mother again. “Come back,” says Jesus. “You are needed here. Paradise and rest will wait.”
Father God, thank You for the gift of children — thank You that while we love them and give them all that we are capable of giving, they also give to us. Thank You for their love, their devotion, and their assistance as we, their parents, grow older and perhaps frail and in greater and greater need of them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.