August 1, 2022

That Time Jesus Said, “Don’t Cry”


Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.  Matthew 1:23

All hope was gone. She was widowed and her only son had died, dooming her to a life of insecurity and social exclusion.

The story of a grieving widow in the gospel of Luke reveals much about Jesus.  As Jesus and His disciples entered a village, a funeral procession was coming out of the village gate. The young man who had died was the widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was there with her.  Luke writes, “When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said” (Luke 7: 11-17).

Now there’s a lot behind those words that the original language reveals. The word that’s translated “compassion” comes from a word that means “intestines.”  Luke wanted his readers to know that Jesus had deep, gut-wrenching feelings when he saw the distraught mother. Jesus immediately sees into this woman’s situation, perhaps bringing to mind the fact that his own mother would suffer similar crushing loss.

Jesus’ compassion moves Him to act.  Walking over to the coffin He does something unspeakable—he defiles Himself by touching it and says, “I tell you, get up.” Now you know what happened: “The dead boy sat up and began to talk. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

This is the God of the Bible—His Name is Emmanuel, meaning, God with us.  With us in the loss, the disappointment, and the brokenness that this life holds.  Luke’s story of the widow and her son reveal that God sees and, deeply moved by compassion, enters into the lives of men and women with healing. This is a God Who has come to give you life.