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Today’s Word: Compassion as in… showing the compassion of Christ. In Luke 7 Jesus “brings back to life” the son of a grieving mother. Luke tells this story in a way which creates a palpable tension between death and new life. We’re supposed to feel the depth of this pain and loss. We’re supposed to experience the sheer ache of grief here, because the deeper the sense of loss, the greater the sense of new life and resurrection that comes from it.

Luke tells us that the young man who died was “…his mother’s only son.” Think about this: her only son! And as the community is carrying the body of her “only begotten son” to the cemetery, Luke adds this little tidbit: “…and she was a widow.”

Wait, what? She’s lost both her husband and her only son? That would have been a death sentence for her. With her husband gone, her life is waning. Now with her son gone, the grief is immeasurable. She’s alone. And from her perspective, she’s done.

Friends, this is where the kingdom of God breaks into the reality of loss with the message of New Life. Jesus wants this mother to know that in the midst of grief, loss, and death, she is not alone. And she was not done. In a way that she doesn’t understand quite yet, the people of Nain surround her, embrace her, show compassion for her, and they are carrying her too.

Jesus intends to “bring back to life” a sense of compassion in our lives for all of those who are struggling, grieving, experiencing loss and pain. The purpose of this story is to stir up compassion in us for those who are living with grief and loss. So, how will we show the compassion of Jesus for others around us?

This, then, is NOT a story about death. This is a story about life; about lives filled with compassion which leads to action!

So the point is more like this: In Luke 7 Jesus “brings back to life” a sense of compassion in the wider community.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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