Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily Devotional, where, after a short break, we now continue in the gospel of Luke. This week, we are using Jesus’ account of the raising of the widow’s son as inspiration for our reflections.
‘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.’ (Luke 7:11-17)
Today, we reflect on the truth that Jesus still works miracles but He doesn’t always do as we would want and this is hard and requires deep faith.
You can listen to this devotional at:
This account of the raising of the widow’s son is an amazing miracle that points to the identity of Christ as the Messiah and Saviour from God and who is God. All miracles are signs that reveal who Jesus is and are recorded in scripture in order for us to put our faith in Him as God and Savour. However, they also provoke us to ask the question as to whether such miracles continue today? Should we expect to see the sick healed and the dead raised?
This simple answer is yes! The Bible is very clear about the ongoing ministry of Christ through His church. For example, Jesus makes this amazing promise:
‘Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.’ (John 14:11-14)
The ‘works’ that Jesus is pointing to are broad but must surely include miracles such as we read in today’s account but, I feel, as many do, has an emphasis on our seeing multitudes born again by the resurrection power of Christ as the church carries on Jesus’ mission. Jesus, of course, is not promising that all Christians are to do all the works of Christ, but that the church - His body - will, together, do His works so as to reveal Christ. We are promised that we will do ‘greater things’. The best explanation of this is that the church throughout the world that is filled with the presence of Jesus will do more - a greater amount - of the things that Jesus did in His ministry as He operated as one man.
This being true, we all know that Jesus doesn’t always heal, raise the dead and give spiritual new birth as we would like. This may be because we do not believe and so do not ask, but it is often because we believe, ask and nothing happens! This is hard to deal with isn’t it? This reality requires deep faith to believe Jesus for miracles and to believe Him - that He knows best - when He doesn’t give miracles. What else can we do? The only other alternatives are to disbelieve or to deem ourselves as unworthy in some way.
Today, we’ve reflected on the truth that Jesus still works miracles but He doesn’t always do as we would want and this is hard and requires deep faith. We see in the Bible that Jesus raises this widow’s son, heals the centurion’s servant and that He’s ‘the same yesterday, today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). So let’s keep our faith in Jesus’ compassion and ability to do miracles. However, if we are still waiting for Jesus to act, keep trusting in His power and compassion - don’t make the health of your relationship with Jesus rest upon Him doing what you want.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
After a short break, we now continue in the gospel of Luke. This week in our devotionals and in this CG study, we will be learning from Jesus’ account of the raising of the widow’s son.
Please read Luke 7:11-17
If you were to summarise this account, how would you say it in one sentence?
Why do you think that Luke puts this and the previous miracle together in this way?
What stood out to you or how did God speak to you from Sunday's message?
What characteristics does this event reveal about Jesus?
What are the various applications and how, specifically, do you feel to respond to the message of this moment?
What was the end result of this encounter with Jesus?
SIV - How could you show the power and compassion of Christ to those outside of faith?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.
Jesus remains, as in this text, compassionate and powerful. Therefore, does anyone want prayer for anything else arising from this study?