Just Like Us – What Can We Learn From The Widow Of Nain?
By Steph Nickel
What can we learn from the story of Jesus and the widow of Nain? In her latest series, Steph takes a look at the many great women of the Bible.
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Just Like Us
Today we begin an exciting new series about the women of the Bible. I’ve called the series “Just Like Us.”
While these women lived in a different place, at least than most of us, and a different time, there are many ways we can relate to them and many lessons we can learn.
During the month of December, as we celebrate the Saviour’s birth, we will be learning about women such as Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist; Mary, the mother of Jesus; and Anna the Prophetess.
In the New Year, we will take a look at some of the women in the New Testament, women such as Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters; the woman at the well; and the hemorrhaging woman who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment.
We will then go on to study some of the women in the Old Testament, including Eve, the first woman to have lived; Sarah, Abraham’s wife; and Deborah, one of Israel’s judges.
The Widow Of Nain
Today I’d like to give you a quick glimpse into how the Lord views women. Though we couldn’t call Jesus a women’s activist per se, His actions spoke volumes to those around Him.
Luke 7:11-16 says, “… he [Jesus] went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother” (ESV).
Although it would be devastating for a 21st-century woman to lose her husband and only child, to understand this grieving widow’s situation, we must grasp what life would have been like for her in Jesus’s day.
If this woman didn’t have relatives to take her in, it’s quite possible she would have ended up begging—or doing something worse—just to stay alive. You see, there weren’t many options for a woman without a male family member to take care of her, not unless she was wealthy at least. Of course, Jesus knew this and He had compassion on her.
Did He go hunting for this opportunity to express His compassion, love, and power? There is no indication in this passage that this was the case. He simply came upon this funeral processional and took action. “Jesus gave him to his mother” (verse 16). What an incredible gift!
What can we learn from this story?
Heartbreak is not exclusive to any period in history.
While a woman’s situation today might not be exactly the same as this widow’s, we know heartache, pain, and grief.
There is One who loves us and understands our pain.
We don’t know if the widow of Nain knew much, if anything, about Jesus before that day, but I can pretty much guarantee you that she never forgot Him after He raised her son from the dead.
The same is true after Jesus meets us in our heartache. While He may not restore what we’ve lost, His love and compassion have a lasting impact on our lives.
The widow’s hope and joy were restored when Jesus’s gave her son back to her. And He will give us hope, joy, and new life as well.
When we come to Jesus—devastated, broken, and spiritually dead—He still has compassion and the ability to give new life.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (ESV).
If you have not confessed your sin, acknowledged that Jesus’s died in payment for that sin and rose victorious over sin and death … If you have not asked Him to forgive your sin and give you new life and make you a new creation, I encourage you to do so today.
Jesus Loves You, Just As He Loved The Widow Of Nain
He loved the widow of Nain and granted new life to her son—and to her. Jesus still overflows with love and compassion and is still the Giver of new life.
If you’ve experienced the comfort and restoration of Jesus, I’d love to hear about it.
As we study the women of the Bible, let’s remember that, in many ways, they were just like us and we have much to learn from them.
And if you’re interested in listening to other devotionals I’ve recorded for HopeStreamRadio, you can check out Hunting Treasure, From God’s Perspective, Family Life Lessons, and If You Love Me (based on Jesus’s statement in John 14:15, which says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” [ESV]).
Learn about other Women of the Bible:
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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