11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 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. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 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!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 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.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Jesus’ “heart went out to her”. On many occasions we read of Jesus compassion to those he encounters. When Jesus healed someone from illness or death, he was first motivated by compassion. This passage prompts me to reflect on what action do I take when I feel compassion towards others. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs of others. In my work, I come across many stories of trauma. This can be overwhelming unless I seek God’s wisdom in how I can best respond with compassion. ‘What would Jesus do?’ has become a banal saying and has been appropriated to famous or infamous people, including comic book characters. But I am constantly prompted by WWJD? Once we ask God to see others with his eyes of compassion we can then act from the position of WWJD?.
This passage reminds me, when I am moved by compassion, to step out in faith to speak words of healing and act in ways that will bring life. I may not have the power and authority to raise someone from the dead, but I can respond to those in need with compassion.
Heavenly Father I pray that I will always be filled with compassion for those in need. I pray that today I will see others with your eyes. I pray that I will step out in faith and bring your healing and love, just as Jesus did. May I proclaim your Good news today. Amen
Written by Meredith O’Neill