Luke 7:11-15

Luke 7:11 (KJB)
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.

The following event is only recorded in Luke. The city of Nain was about 22 miles (35 km) southwest of Capernaum. They must have done some real walking because 22 miles was about a full day of walking plus it seemed that many people, both disciples and followers had gone with Him. The city still exists today and is called the city of Nein. There are many ancient remains in this place along with an ancient cemetery just east of the city.

Luke 7:12 (KJB)
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

As they approached the entrance gate to the city they had encountered a funeral procession coming out of the city. It was the only son of a widow and this would have been a tremendous loss for her. First, being a widow made the woman a member of a lower social class but there was hope as her son would be able to help her and support her. Now with him dead, she has lost all possible means of support and coupling that with the loss of her son, would make this situation extra grievous. It seemed though she may have had many friends as the funeral had many people in the procession. It may have been a grievous time for her but maybe not totally hopeless.

Luke 7:13 (KJB)
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Here Luke refers to Jesus as “the Lord.” He uses His title of deity because of what is going to happen very shortly. Jesus saw the funeral procession and immediately He had compassion on her and the situation He knew that she was in. The words “had compassion” carries with it the idea of “having mercy or feeling sympathy.” Then Jesus gives her a gentle command “weep not.” It may have seemed a strange command to the woman who was in a state of grief at this time plus she did not know who Jesus was, yet.

Luke 7:14 (KJB)
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

The young man was being carried on a bier which was an open casket. He may have been prepared that way because he was probably going to be placed in a tomb which was hewn out of rock which contained shelves where the body is placed. Jesus approaches the bier and those who were carrying the body had stopped thinking maybe He was going to offer a prayer for the mother or even say Kaddish. Then after Jesus approaches the bier, He says, “Young man” and this, in the Greek, is in the Vocative case which is very important. The Vocative case identifies the person who is being addressed. If Jesus would not have addressed the young man specifically and just generally said “Arise,” then every dead person in the world would have risen from the dead. Jesus commands the young man to rise.

Luke 7:15 (KJB)
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

Immediately, the young man sat up on the bier and he spoke. It is not recorded what he said but Luke made very sure that we knew that he was dead and not just asleep. Here Jesus performs one of His three resurrections in the New Testament. The other two were Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus. Then after the young man was raised from the dead, Jesus delivers him to his mother. She may have been in a different part of the procession, probably the front. Jesus continues His compassionate dealing with this family as He gently brings the man to his mother.