When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
7:11-16Ref — 1Ki 17:17-24; 2Ki 4:32-37; Mk 5:21-24,35-43; Jn 11:1-44
Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
So, I left the the cross references for you for the second part of the passage this morning. They show some really interesting connections to Elijah and Elisha, two of the great prophets of the Old Testament.
This morning as I write I’m struck by the reality of how much Jesus cares. His heart is tender and kind. Jesus loves well. I know, surprising.
Jesus, saw the heartache of the woman from Nain. We have no sense that she asked Jesus for anything. The mother was simply present in the burial procession for her son.
His “heart went out to her.” Jesus had compassion for this woman.
So often we don’t think that Jesus or God cares about what we are walking through. We look around the world and see all the really bad problems and think, “It could be worse, I could be those people.”
But, you know what?
Even when we don’t ask.
Even when we are in the midst of our grief and don’t see him.
Even when we think he doesn’t.
I love how Jesus sees the grief and acts.
When you’re community with people you learn of their heartaches and pain. I find myself asking, “How can I help?” There are things that I think could be helpful, but I don’t want to just go and insert myself.
After reading this story, I’m reminded again that to show love, care, and compassion to someone is OK to just go and do.
I want to be like Jesus.
When my heart goes out to someone I think I’m going to show up.
He didn’t offer platitudes.
He didn’t offer words.
My friend, Todd, says, “Acta non Verba.” Actions not words.
Jesus embodies that.
His love for this woman whom he didn’t know drove him to act.
What if we paid attention to the moments of compassion that well up in us?