Monday, June 13, 2016

Taking Care of Widows

by Gregory A. Johnson

Taking Care of Widows, by Gregory A. Johnson

"Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, 'Do not weep.' Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, 'Young man, I say to you, arise.' And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has arisen among us!' and 'God has visited his people!' And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country" (Luke 7:11-17).

In Jesus' day, there were neither life insurance benefits nor government provision for widows. Widows were to be taken care of and provided for by the children of the family, and Scripture specifically tells us here that this dead man was the only son of this widow. I imagine there were many who attended the funeral and were in this procession that said things like, "I feel so sorry for her." There is a big difference between feeling sorry for people and being able and willing to do something about their condition.

In the crowd that day, there is one person who is able and willing to do something about this situation. Jesus has compassion for the widow. Her husband is dead and now her only son—the only source of provision for the rest of her life—is also dead. What will she do? Jesus, when he sees her and her present hopeless condition, did something about it; He brought life back into the man and gave him to his mother, so that he can take care of her. That's compassion coming from a heart that loves all people; it's Kingdom love.

(Excerpted from the book, The Kingdom According to Jesus, by Gregory A. Johnson. Copyright © by Gregory A. Johnson. All rights reserved. Click here for a complete list of books, authored by Gregory A. Johnson)

Know that you are loved,