Highlights In Today's Reading:
As the Creator of the Sabbath Jesus exercises His authority over man-made rules. His chosen 12 are listed here (6:14-16). Jesus expands His teachings on the blessings and woes (6:20-45). He relates two parables: (1) consider a firm foundation (6:47-49); and (2) the depth of forgiveness (7:40-50). Your faith makes a difference (7:1-10). In the presence of Jesus is life, not death (7:11-18). Jesus eulogizes John the Baptist (7:19-35). Jesus is condemned because He is deeply worshiped by a known sinner (7:36-39).
He (Jesus) went into a city called Nain. . . . there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. . . . And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not (Luke 7:11-13). The words weep not were spoken before the miracle.
The Creator of Life stood face to face with the pallbearers of death. That procession was going one way, and into its midst came Jesus, the One who is the Giver of the Resurrected Life.
No one in the procession of death pleaded with the Savior. No request was presented to Him — the only appeal was that of the deep sorrow and desperate emptiness which filled the mother's heart. Our need, our helplessness, and our sorrow touch the heart of Christ with compassion even when we are so despondent that we cannot pray.
Nothing seems emptier than the usual sincere, well-meant attempts to comfort the bereaved when the cause of weeping still remains. How precious to know that the Lord is with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). His Words of comfort so often soften the harshness of our sorrow.
Jesus spoke just seven words: Young man, I say unto thee, arise. The young man sat up (Luke 7:14-15). Wherever that dead man was, he heard and obeyed Christ's voice. This miracle demonstrated His power over the last enemy, death (I Corinthians 15:22,26; Revelation 1:18).
Here is evidence that when a man dies physically, it is not the end. We see in Christ's action here a prophetic forecast of the future when all the dead in Christ will hear His voice and shall rise to join the joy of heaven, then we which are alive also will be united with our loved ones (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
That meeting in Nain stands as a symbol of Jesus' purpose on earth: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
He himself declared: The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live (John 5:25).
Thought for Today:
Whether the world accepts it or not makes no difference. The Word of God will always be the final authority.
6:11 communed =b> discussed; 7:14 bier =b> coffin on which a corpse was carried to burial.
For Luke 7:22: See Isaiah 61:1. Luke 7:27: See Malachi 3:1.
Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Sen. Jim Bunning (KY) and Sen. Mel Martinez (FL) • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: God wants to be exalted through you (Psa. 46:10).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19