It’s curious to me. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus but only Matthew and Luke record Christ’s virgin birth.
All four of the Gospels record the feeding of the five thousand, but only Matthew and Mark record the feeding of the four thousand.
Matthew, Mark and Luke each record the raising of Jairus’s twelve-year-old daughter. Only John tells the story of Jesus calling Lazarus from the grave and only Luke tells the story of Jesus’ visit to the village of Nain.
Let’s consider the death-to-life event that occurred in Nain.
Nain, located a few miles from Nazareth, is only mentioned once in the New Testament. It was a pleasant little village... actually the name “Nain” meant “pleasant.” It was situated on a slope overlooking the Valley of Jezreel, the richest agricultural land in Israel, the breadbasket of Canaan.
Before we get to the story, it might be good to put it on the timeline of Jesus’ earthly ministry. In the sixth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we read about Jesus calling the twelve to serve as Apostles, so Jesus must have visited the village of Nain early in His ministry. Later, in chapter eight, Jesus visited the home of Jairus. So, this was the first time Jesus miraculously revived a dead person. Nobody had ever seen this happen!
That’s the where and the when... now the story of Jesus’ great compassion!
Dr. Luke writes, “Afterward he was on his way to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. Just as he neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the town was also with her” (Luke 7:11–12, CSB).
Jesus, with a “large crowd”, was entering the village at the same time as a funeral procession was exiting. You didn’t have to be divine or omniscient to read the scene. There was the corpse of a young man on a simple stretcher, and there was his momma. No daddy, no siblings. The woman was alone... all alone.
“When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, ‘Don’t weep’ ” (Luke 7:13, CSB). Can you see the compassion? Jesus stopped the progress of the crowd by walking directly up to the tearful mother and offering her an open embrace. I can imagine a soft voice, “Please don’t cry,” and a gentle caress as He wiped away a falling tear.
Then, the Creator and Sustainer of life reached over to the boy. “Young man, I tell you, get up!” (Luke 7:14, CSB). At the touch of Jesus, his once lifeless body sat up, alive!
Oh, the compassionate Jesus.
In the sweet by-and-by, He’ll compassionately embrace each of His believing children and “He will wipe away every tear” (Revelation 21:4, ESV).
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor