I’ve been studying the gospels, trying to see what Jesus said (and says) to parents. In most cases, moms and dads approach Jesus is deep distress. A child is sick, demon-possessed or dying. Parents are at their wits’ end. In a couple of instances, a mother approaches Jesus hoping for a favor—to help the kids gain a position or to save the neighbors from an embarrassing situation. In one case, a grieving mother, who is also a widow, never asks for Jesus’ healing hand. But He extends it anyway.
I’m talking about Luke 7:11-17, ‘Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son.’ When you read the gospels, you see that Jesus raises three people from the dead: The widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17); Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:40-56; Mark 5:21-43) and Lazarus (John 11:38-44). Jesus raises two kids--a boy and a girl--and a good friend. Of the three people that Jesus raised from the dead, two were children!
Jesus’ heart for children and parents is surprising. It’s overwhelming.
But in the case of Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus, Jesus is summoned for help because the little girl is dying and Lazarus is dying. They are not dead yet. The widow’s son, on the other hand, is already dead. He is being carried outside of the village to be buried. A crowd of mourners surrounds the coffin. The wails of grief sound the alarm of deep sadness. The village is made aware that someone is dead.
We don’t know if this teenaged boy had been sick or involved in some kind of accident. Whatever the case, his life has been cut drastically short.
How could Jesus be of any assistance in this instance? The boy is gone. Maybe that’s why we never hear of the widow calling for Jesus’ help. It’s too late.
Have you ever felt like it was too late when it came to your son or daughter? It was beyond repair? The damage had been done? So you stop calling out for Jesus. It’s too late.
But what I love about this story is that even though the widow says nothing, Jesus hears her broken heart. She utters not a single coherent word, but her sobbing reaches Jesus. And he comes. He comes.
So parents and grandparents, aunts & uncles…don’t stop calling out to Jesus. If the grief or the stress is so great that you can’t even speak—take comfort in knowing that he hears the cries of your heart. And he comes. He comes.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
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