Sermon Notes for 16th Sunday after Trinity, 5 October 2014 Anno Domini
St. Luke vii. 11- 17
AND it came to pass the day after, that Jesus went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.
Funeral directors hate to see Christ coming, because their business fails, and those who are dead simply will not stay dead.
Two things cannot abide the Presence of Christ: Darkness and Death for He is the Fountain of Life, and the Light of the World.
On the day before this incident in today’s Gospel, Jesus had healed the servant of the Centurion due to the Centurion’s great faith.
Now He comes to a city named Nain – meaning BEAUTIFUL. It was beside Mount Tabor and the River Gison. But though the setting is beautiful, there is great sorrow and mourning in Nain today. The only son of a widow woman had died.
Outward beauty does not necessarily lead to inward joy.
The young man was all that the widow had left in Nain – and in the world. Now, like her husband, this young man too had died. Such sorrow of the mother cannot be imagined by those who have not suffered a similar loss. Her entire life was lying dead on a funeral bier. Now, instead of seeing grandchildren being born of him, she followed on to the sad destination of a grave in Beautiful Nain.
Death, too, is abject darkness – and it has its origin in the works of Satan at the Garden in Eden.
Now comes Light and Life in the form of Jesus Christ to the gates of the city.
In Christ, death has no being – it is only a sleep and not a cessation of life.
AND it came to pass the day after (the Centurion’s servant healed at Capernaum), that Jesus went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him(not only the apostles, but many other followers), and much people (some out of faith, others out of curiosity).
Today, too, many follow Jesus – even in churches – for the wrong reason – curiosity, social or business advantage, and pride.
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
Just the day before, Jesus had healed a sick man owing to the faith of his master. Today He will raise a man to life without any expression of faith whatsoever. Why?
First, of all, Jesus saw the great mourning of the widow and others, and took compassion on her. Love will overcome every barrier – even a failure of faith.
Secondly, the dead know nothing at all. They are unable to respond in faith. This is true of the physically living sinner who is dead in trespasses and sin. He is unable to turn and of his own power in faith.
In the face of inordinate grief, the Lord does not lay the woman’s sin to her charge as a perquisite to satisfy the longings of her heart.
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. When the Lord appears on the scene, there is never need for weeping. He always comforts the hurting without reservation.
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. All that Christ touches stands still in awe of Him. There is nothing dead that can remain so when Christ touches it.
And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. Jesus spoke directly to the young man; else every grave in the land would have been opened. He speaks to the dead, ARISE!
Those whom He calls from the death of sin, He calls to ARISE from their pig sties and come unto Him. Jesus restores to the believer what death takes away, for in Christ, there is no death – only a sleeping.
The early beginning of faith starts with fear, “And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.” And faith ends with glorifying God.
What was the result of this miracle? Remember, there was no telephone or television in those days – no radio or newspapers: “And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.” Not only was the news wafted about in Judaea, but all around that entire region of Palestine – and all by means of witnesses testifying to what Jesus had done.
What about you? Are your tongues frozen, or do you share this good news of Christ with all who will listen?
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. AMEN.