The Power and Mercy of Jesus  

Luke 7:11-17 

Prepared by: John Hazzard 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age,  according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory  forever and ever. Amen. 

In John’s Gospel we are told that not all of Jesus’s miracles and  episodes have been reported and written about, because if all had been  written down there would not be a book big enough to hold them. So  you may be wondering why this miracle made it into Luke’s sacred text.  As we begin to look at and study today's Gospel text, it soon becomes  obvious why Luke chose this miraculous event and included it in his  gospel. As a matter of fact if all of the other miracles that Jesus  performed were lost- or for whatever reason- were not recorded in the  sacred text, this miracle alone would be enough to reveal Jesus’s true  nature, and what he was sent to do as the Son of God and our promised  Savior.  

The day before today’s gospel text we saw a Roman servant, that  was on the brink of death, saved by Jesus from a distance. In our text  we might be caught up in the fact that Jesus actually raised a mother’s  only son from the dead. The man was dead and by the miraculous  power of Jesus, he was made alive again. But there is more going on  here than what we might realize. This event points to the true identity  and nature of Jesus Christ as true man and true God. We see the human  compassion that Jesus had, as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ,  while at the same time demonstrating his saving power and Grace. 

In our text we find that Jesus happened across a large funeral  procession on his way to a town called Nain. In those days a funeral  procession was quite the spectacle. There would be a large crowd  consisting of family members and friends that followed the deceased  who was carried in a bier (a b i e r is a basket like frame in which the  body of the deceased was carried from their home, out of the city to their  burial tomb). It was not uncommon for the family to hire musicians to  play music, and even higher mourners, to proceed with the family. They  wanted to be sure to honor and show respect for their deceased loved  ones. When I think about this large funeral procession, I imagine it  would have looked a lot like one of those funeral processions made  famous in New Orleans, where a jazz type band with trumpets,  trombones, and various other brass instruments play a slow methodical  melody that the people sort of saunter or walk to. As you might expect  it was a very sad and somber ceremony. Especially in this case.   

Our Text reveals, 11 Soon afterward Jesus went to a town called  Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12 As Jesus  approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried  out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow, and with her  was a large crowd from the town. I can’t imagine a more sad or heavy hearted situation. This poor widow, we are told, not only lost her  husband, but now lost her only son. She would now go through life  having no one to take care of her or provide for her. She would be left  totally destitute. She would pass from this world leaving no trace that  she or her family ever existed. This is a desperate situation that would  have rivaled that of Job’s. As sad as that seems, it was common for the  Jewish people of that day to believed that this kind of “bad luck” was the  result of a curse from God. A curse that was the result of some deviant 

misconduct committed by her. This poor woman would be thought to  have offended God to the point that God allowed these horrific tragedies  to fall on her. She herself probably wondered what great sins she  committed to fall this far out of God’s favor. The truth is that she didn’t  necessarily cause these events, Adam brought this on the world when he  committed the original sin and ate from “the tree of the knowledge of  good and evil”, casting us all, as his descendants, into sin.  

Our sermon text goes on to say, 13 When the Lord saw her, he was  moved with compassion for her and said to her, “Weep Not.” When  Jesus said these words to her he was not admonishing her, nor was he  trying to tell her to “Keep your chin up, things will get better”. I don’t  think he meant anything like that at all. What Jesus was saying was  “Weep Not”, I am going to intercede for you and things are going to be  made right once more. The text continues: 14 Then he came forward  and touched the bier, and the bearers stopped. And Jesus said, “Young  man, I say to you, rise!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and  Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized all of them, and they  glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God  has visited his people!” 17 This word about him spread throughout the  whole of Judea and all the surrounding region. It wasn’t the tears of the  mother that saved her son’s life. No human work can bring life. It is  only the mercy of God that makes life anew possible. It was Jesus’s  compassion, power, and authority that saved her son. Knowing this  should be a great comfort for us as well. It is written in John 14: “I am  the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except  through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”  

Someday we will all be called– by our faith in Christ– to receive our  eternal life, rescued from death and condemnation by the same 

compassion Jesus demonstrated for that weeping mother. We will all  feel a peace and cleansing like we have never felt before.  

Let me re-emphasize for you that not only are pain, suffering, loss,  and a general sense of vulnerability caused by sin, but death is the result  of sin as well. Death originated in Paradise due to sin inherited from  Adam and Eve. Therefore, all are born into sin and must experience  death. No amount of good works or deeds can save us. We can’t help  enough people with their groceries, hold enough doors, nor volunteer at  enough homeless shelters. Don’t get me wrong, we should be doing  these things. These things are all fruits of the Holy Spirit that are in the  faithful, but these actions in themselves will not justify nor sanctify us.  No one can stand in front of the judgment of God and survive on their  own merits or works. The only way is through The Justification we are  given because Jesus - living a perfect and sinless life- bore, all of our  sins for us and by his death became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Just  as Jesus’s life is infinite, His atoning sacrificial death on the cross is  infinite as well. Jesus’s infinite sacrificial death is like an ever flowing fountain of atoning waters that continuously covers our sins. We are  justified freely by the work of Christ. There is no doubt about it. The  justice that God demands of us, was met. Our sin debt was and  continues to be paid. As a result, God through his love can now invite  all those who will put their trust in Christ, to spend eternity with Him.  Romans 6:23 Tells us, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of  God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 


You see, Jesus’s atoning sacrifice coupled with our faith in him,  makes sanctification given by the Grace of God possible. It’s not  enough to believe, you must have faith, True Faith. When we say we  believe we might say, I believe that George Washington was the first 

president of the United States. That would be something you believe to  be true. But, when you have faith, you are doing more than just  believing. In addition to believing, you completely and utterly trust  something or someone with every fiber of your being. There is no doubt  in your mind, your heart, nor your soul. It is so total and complete that it  becomes a part of you and shapes you. It is easy to say “I believe  something”, but it takes on a much deeper and personal meaning when  you have faith in it. When you have faith in something you trust it. This  is what God wants in our relationship with him. It is by this faith in  Christ, that we have both a temporal and eternal relationship with God.  Everyone knows that death is inevitable, but the heathen does not see  how the work of the cross and Christ is there to meet and help all those  who are faithful and righteous.  

God never intended for man to suffer. Quite the contrary God  gave us paradise and an eternal relationship with him. To continue to  live in a state of Grace, all we have to do is use the freewill that God  gives us, and have faith in him and his word. God gives richly if men  can endure and maintain their faith in him. We see this lesson and  understanding played out in Job’s life. Job’s faith never wavered. He  never doubted God, as a result he was restored and given twice as much.  God richly blesses those that endure and look toward him for guidance  in times of trouble, instead of turning away from him. 

Some of you may be wondering how people in the Old Testament  are saved. It is clearly stated in Acts 4: 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you  builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is  found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to  mankind by which we must be saved.” The bible clearly tells us that we  can only be saved through a faith in Jesus Christ. The bible teaches no  one can be saved apart from the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. So 

How Do Old Testament believers become Sanctified in the shed blood  of Christ? The Divine Word of God tells us in Hebrews Ch. 9: 15 For  this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are  

called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has  died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first  covenant. By the means of Jesus’s redemptive death those who are  called may receive their eternal inheritance. You see, The Mosaic  Covenant was like a will. Its laws and ceremonies would set God’s  people apart, serving to foreshadow the coming of the true messiah,  Jesus The Christ. This means that the saving grace of the cross has  retroactively saved the Old Testament people who were faithful. For  example, Abraham was saved by his strong faith, not by his works.  Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, symbolized Christ as our savior and  our Ultimate High Priest. During Yom Kippur, retroactive forgiveness  was given each year as the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to  present a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people that were committed  out of ignorance the year before. Thanks be to God that we all- past,  present, and future- have the ultimate High Priest who has ascended to  our Heavenly Holy of Holies to intercede on our behalf.  

We all know we are going to die, but the heathen does not see how  Christ is always there to meet and help us, the faithful and righteous.  Just as he was there to meet the mother’s dead son on the road to Nain.  We are all born into sin and must experience a physical death. The only  way we can be saved is by Christ crucified. Christ took on death and  God's wrath for us, so that we may be saved. As the True Lamb of God,  Christ saves us the believer. This gift can only be received by the Grace  of God when we are touched by the Holy Spirit and believe in the  Divine Word of God

What all this means is that we have an important choice to make.  We can either pay our sin debt ourselves with an eternal death, or we can  put our Faith in Jesus, lay our sins on him, and let Jesus pay our sin debt  for us. Just like the young man in Nain we can be brought back from the  dead to have eternal life because we have accepted Jesus Christ, the true  Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Through Jesus  Christ we have holiness and righteousness for we are told in II  Corinthians 5: 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that  in him we might become the righteousness of God. 

There is no better news. Christ placed our sins on himself and  gave to us that have Faith in him, his righteousness so we can be found  acceptable to God Almighty. This is the justification and the  sanctification that leads us on a straight and narrow path to Salvation.  When we pray “IN THE NAME OF JESUS” we are saying, “Oh God in  the name of Jesus in whom I totally and confidently stand”. Hebrews 9:  24 reminds us For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human  hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now  to appear for us in God’s presence.” We will never face our sin again  when we put our faith in Christ Jesus. Just as Jesus raised the young man  from the dead, he will come again to gather us all who have died to sin  so that we may have an eternal life with him. “Jesus is the way, the  truth, and the life.” Today is the day to put your total faith in Christ,  resting in the Peace of God, given through the intercession of Christ. 




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