Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 9, 2013
How do we respond to the misfortunes of others? We see Jesus was moved with compassion on this occasion when he met a widow and a crowded funeral procession on their way to the cemetery. Jesus not only grieved the death of a young man, but he showed the depth of his concern for this woman, who also had lost her husband. Jesus demonstrated the extraordinary power to bring back to life this person and to make him whole again.
In doing so, Jesus also did something that shocked those who witnessed his actions. Jesus made physical contact with the dead. Jewish culture understood that contact with a dead body made someone unclean or impure. Jesus’ actions showed his depth of concern and demonstrated his desire to free all people from the powers of sin, moral corruption, and even death itself. Jesus’ simple words of command, “Young man, arise,” brought freedom and wholeness to his soul as well as his body.
Through this passage we are reminded that Jesus is Lord not only of the living but of the dead as well. Jesus died upon the cross for our sins; he also triumphed over the grave when he rose again on the third day, just as he had promised his disciples. Jesus promised that, because he lives (and will never die again), everyone who believes in him shall have abundant life with and in him both now and forever (John 14:19).
Together may we trust in the Lord Jesus to give us abundant life and everlasting hope in the face of life’s trials, misfortunes, and moments of despair.
David A. Marcus Jr., pastor, Christ Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina