Week 3, Part 2: Widows Indeed
Day 5: Compassion and Honor – Luke 7:11-17; 18:2-8
The widow in the temple was not the only widow upon whom Jesus had compassion. In Luke 7, we have a beautiful story of His compassion and care:
“And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came high to the gate of the city behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumor of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.”
Jesus did something that we could never do. None of us on our own have the power to raise a man from the dead; few have ever been used of God in that way throughout history. But there is something else here that Jesus did that each and everyone of us can do. He had compassion. He stepped into her sorrow and comforted her. He saw that she was alone. Her husband had died and now her son. She was left with no one to provide for her, so He did what He could to meet her need. While we may not be able to bring a widow’s son back to life, we can certainly step into their need and help where possible.
One of the most comforting things in all of Scripture, to me at least, is the New Testament phrase “the God of”. Have you ever considered what our God is the God of in the New Testament. I challenge you to check it out. He is the God of all the things that are needed in a situation like this, and He wants to display that through us. The question is will we step out of our comfort zone and allow Him to do it.
In Luke 18 we have yet another example of a widow honored by Christ:
“…There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary, And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” (Luke 18:2-5)
This passage almost makes me laugh, not because this judge’s actions are laughable, but because I have met a good number of very persistent women over the years that I can picture going before that judge day after day until he can’t take it any more.
In this case, however, Jesus saw it as a good thing. In fact, He used her persistence to illustrate how we should come to God in prayer, and to give the assurance that God will answer those prayers. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Over the last two blogs we have seen from Christ’s example and teaching both how we are to interact with the widow and what some of the widow’s strong points are to be. These are things that we need to be focusing on in our ministry. Is a widow instantly an example of faithfulness, prayer and fasting the moment her husband dies? No, of course not. But these are areas that as time goes by we can help her to grow into, and until that time we are to do as Christ did: to honor and to comfort. It really isn’t that complicated – difficult at times, yes – but not complicated. Jesus set a very clear example. Now it remains for us to follow in His steps.
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Also Check out Rachel Miller’s Book: The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption