Friday, April 4, 2014

Lent 2014: Widow and her only son

Luke 7:11-17
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Luke goes out of his way to emphasize that this woman is a widow who has lost her only son. Having more children doesn't make the loss of one of them any easier to bear, yet in this society a woman without a male protector, whether son, husband, or father, was in a very difficult position. This woman, who has already experienced the grief of losing her husband, faces a double grief: the death of her son and the devastation of her future. Perhaps Jesus thought of his own mother's future loss of her son when He saw the widow and perhaps He thought of the widow when He was on the cross giving Mary to His disciple John as his mother.
The widow doesn't seek out Jesus' help. She is too busy grieving and perhaps has not yet heard of the miracles He has performed. Even if she has heard of the healings, she probably doesn't know that He is capable of bringing the dead back to life. Death is, after all, a much more formidable barrier than illness. Jesus takes the initiative in this miracle out of compassion for the woman, transforming despair into hope and sorrow into joy.
Sometimes Jesus doesn't wait for us to turn to Him. Sometimes He takes the initiative out of His love for us. In what ways have you experienced this? Did you tank Him for it? Did you share the good news of God's love for you with others?

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