“Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain . . . a funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son. . . When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion” – Luke 7:11-17 (NLT)
I like this story because it shows how Jesus sees opportunities when others don’t even know He is there. It also shows Jesus is prepared to meet the needs of those around Him, and is even looking for people He can touch. And that’s where this story starts to bother me.
I sometimes think I took too many psychology classes in college. One of the primary teachings among counselors is you cannot help a person unless they want to be helped. And for the most part, this is true. Some people do not want help, and trying to help them anyway ignores Jesus’ teaching about throwing our pearls towards pigs and our sacred advice to dogs who will only bite us back for our efforts (Matthew 7:6).
Still, Jesus saw the opportunities to minister when they presented themselves. Even though the widow may not have known who He was, and may have thought He was just another face in the crowd, Jesus knew this was a divine moment. The widow never begged and groveled and tore at the hem of Jesus’ garment, pleading with Him to raise her one and only son from the dead. Nevertheless, Jesus stopped the procession and ministered to them both.
When you read the Gospels, you’ll see numerous times Jesus seemed to be on the lookout for opportunities to show His love for people by His actions. Continue Reading