"Don't cry," he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. "Young man," he said, "get up." Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk to those around him. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Luke 7:11-15 (NLT)
This scene amazes me on several levels. The most obvious "wow" moment is Jesus raising this boy from the dead. And that in itself makes this a great story. Can you even imagine? I know I can't, and I have a very active imagination! If I were to include someone raising from the dead in one of my books, it would move from the romance genre to science fiction, or possibly even horror. But as they say, the truth is stranger than fiction, and when Jesus is involved, things can get pretty wild.
But as I was reading this, the thing that struck me even more than Jesus raising this boy from the dead is His interaction with the mother. Some would say that Jesus performed this miracle to display His power in front of His disciples, the townspeople, and the great crowd following Him, and a revealing of His glory was certainly a result of His actions. (Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, "A mighty prophet has risen among us," and "We have seen the hand of God at work today." v.16)
But was this Jesus' motive? To "wow" the crowd? I don't think so. His attention is clearly on the mother. He knew who she was. He knew she had just lost her only son. He knew she was alone. And 'His heart went out to her.' (NIV) His compassion overflowed.
"Don't cry," He said.
Now that I can picture. I'm sure He was close to her when He said it. His words were for her. They were personal. He was fulfilling His own teaching. "God blesses you who weep now, for the time will come when you will laugh with joy." (Luke 6:21-NLT) This mother's joy was coming. And it was coming quickly! I'm not sure laughter was her first reaction though. If it was me, I think I would have fainted and only come-to when my son was splashing some water on my face and saying, "Wake up, Mom! Jesus just raised me from the dead!"
I wonder if Jesus was thinking of His own mother when He saw this woman. He knew that she would be in a similar situation one day all too soon. Was He doing what He hoped someone would do for her on that sad day? "Don't cry, Mary. He's coming back. He said so."
This may be an unbelievable scene, and you may have trouble picturing Jesus doing something so far outside of reality. But I hope that if you need comfort today in some difficult circumstances, if you're feeling lonely or alone, if you're in need of some guidance, or hope, or a miracle of your own, that you hear Jesus saying, "Don't cry. I'm going to make it all right. I love you, and you're not alone. I'm here. Just wait and see what I'm going to do next." It might make you laugh. It might make you faint. It might be something very small in comparison to raising someone from the dead. But it will be what you need. It will be for you. It will remind you of His faithfulness. It will remind you of His love.