Gospel Story: Jesus Entered A Town Called Nain

The poet Dante called Luke “the scribe of Christ’s compassion”, and this little episode brings out this characteristic very clearly.

As Jesus enters the village of Nain, a short distance away from his own hometown of Nazareth, he meets a funeral procession.

A young man has died, the only son of his widowed mother. The woman therefore is twice bereaved.

Jesus is overwhelmed with pity for the widowed mother, and turns towards her with the words, “Weep no more.” Then he stops the procession, goes up to the bier, and says to the corpse, “Young man, rise up!” The effect is instantaneous and electrifies the whole crowd, as Jesus hands the youth, now alive, over to his mother.

This is one of the first times that Luke calls Jesus ‘Lord’, the reverential form for ‘Yahweh’, God Almighty, which devout Jews were wont to use. For truly Jesus shows himself Lord of life and death as he works this great sign of his power.

The crowd undoubtedly remembered that episode from Israel’s history when the prophet Elijah revived the son of the widow of Zarephthah, and brought him back to life.

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A deep awe fell upon them all, as they exclaimed, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us,’ and ‘God has shown his care for this people.’

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