Resurrection of a Widow’s Only Son (Luke 7:11-17)

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-01-02 09:48.

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With his disciples, Jesus left Capernaum for other parts of Galilee. Besides his disciples, a large crowd followed. (Luke 7:11)

Near the city of Nain, Jesus performed an astounding miracle. When he and those accompanying him approached the city gate, they saw a funeral procession. The young dead man being carried out for burial was the only son of a widow. A sizable crowd accompanied the weeping mother. Moved with compassion for her, Jesus approached, telling her not to weep. He then touched the bier, and those carrying it stopped walking. In response to Jesus’ words, “Young man, I say to you, rise,” he sat up and began to speak, and Jesus presented him to his mother. (Luke 7:12-15)

All who witnessed this resurrection were filled with a reverential fear or awe and glorified or praised God. “A great prophet has been raised up among us!” they exclaimed. “God has shown concern for his people.” (Luke 7:16)

News about Jesus in connection with this miracle spread widely. The “word” or news reached “the whole of Judea” and “all the surrounding country.” In this case, “Judea” may be understood to refer to all the land in which the Jews resided and not just the region south of Samaria, and “all the surrounding country” would then mean areas beyond the region embraced by the designation “Judea.” (Luke 7:17)


This resurrection may well have reminded those witnessing it that the prophet Elijah had resurrected the only son of a widow in Zarephath and that Elisha had raised the only son of a hospitable woman at Shunem. (1 Kings 17:9, 13-23; 2 Kings 4:32-37) Understandably, inhabitants of Nain would have been moved spontaneously to acknowledge, “A great prophet has been raised up among us!”

Nain is commonly identified with a site located roughly twenty miles southwest of Capernaum.