Week 10 Devo – TUESDAY

Resurrected Lives; Resurrected Hearts

When was the last time you were terrified?

Think back to a time in your life when the Lord came through in a situation of adversity. What did you learn about Jesus through that experience?

In the first-century world of Jesus, life expectancy was only 20 years. People’s final days often came with a great deal of suffering. Skeletal remains suggest that as many as one-quarter of the Roman Empire, on any given day, was sick, dying, or in need of immediate medical attention; often only one-third of the skeletons found in archaeological digs from that time are those of adults (which emphasizes the mortality of children). Infant mortality was as high as 25 percent, and most children wouldn’t live past the age of 10. As Bible students, we shouldn’t miss that two of the three individuals Jesus raised from the dead were children.

How do details such as these increase your faith in Jesus and His Resurrection power?

In this second resurrection story, Jesus raised the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11–17). He encountered the funeral party as it left the village of Nain on its way to the place of burial. The boy died that day or perhaps the previous evening. Why do we know this is eyewitness testimony in Luke’s Gospel? Several distinctive details were recalled, such as the name of the village; the woman being a widow, the deceased boy being her only son; Jesus’ touching the coffin; the stopping of the bearers; and the startling movement of the dead, who is said to have “sat up” (v. 15).

Why is reading the Bible with historical details important? (For example, when we understand life expectancy in the time of Jesus, we know why His ministry of healing others was so widely accepted.)

These intentional details emphasize the historicity and authenticity of these claims. Don’t gloss over the fact that the Scriptures record that the dead boy sat up. Can you imagine the joy (and shock) of all who were mourning – especially his mother, who was a widow? God came through in the face of the greatest adversity.

As we learned last week, the Old Testament predicted and proclaimed Jesus’ ministry. In this scene where He raised the son of a widow, Jesus revealed He had power similar to that of Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 17:17–24; 2 King 4:18–37). In a first-century world rooted in Jewish belief, this would lead the people to conclude that Jesus was indeed a prophet, and that God was visiting His people through His activity.

However, these resurrection miracles have practical applications for our lives beyond a mere historical account and demonstration of power. This story also shows the lengths Jesus goes to in order to meet people at their most significant need points. Notice how our passage focused on the helplessness of the widow, deprived of the support of both her husband and her son. This draws attention to the gracious compassion of Jesus in caring for those in distress. So, not only is Jesus’ Resurrection power available to us, but the heart of Christ comforts the weak, afflicted, needy, and spiritually dead. The same comfort and power are available to all who trust in Jesus.

What comfort does this account offer you?

Why is it essential for us to seek the practical life applications of biblical accounts?