Jesus walked from town to town telling people about God and healing the sick. Jesus’ disciples followed Him everywhere. Other people wanted to hear and see what Jesus was doing too, so a large crowd followed Him from place to place. One day Jesus came upon a town called Nain. In those days the towns had walls around them with gates to let people in and out. As Jesus walked toward the town gate, He saw people carrying a coffin. A young man had died and was to be buried in the cemetery outside of town. His mother and a large crowd followed the people carrying the coffin.
Jesus could hear the young man’s mother cry and the crowd of crying people too. The mother was a widow—that means her husband had died. And now her only son had died too. Jesus immediately knew why she was sad. Her husband and her son had died, and now she was alone. She had no one to help her. No one to earn money for food. No one to help her when she was sick. No one to comfort her, or take care of her when she became old.
Jesus wanted to do something to help her. Quietly He walked over to the woman. When the people saw Him, everyone stood still. They stopped crying. Then they gathered around Jesus and the weeping mother. What would Jesus do? they wondered. What could He do? Jesus smiled at the woman and gently said, “Don’t cry.” Then He touched the coffin. When the people saw Him do that, they all stared at Him. What would Jesus do next? Then Jesus spoke. “Young man, I say to you, get up!” (Luke 7:14, NIV). The people must have been surprised to hear Jesus say that! Everyone knew that the young man was dead, and dead people don’t get up.
But when Jesus spoke, the young man sat up and began talking! Jesus gave him to his mother. Was she happy? Of course she was! She stopped crying and started praising God! The people were amazed! They were seeing a miracle! Their mouths must have fallen open in surprise! “God has come to help His people!” they shouted. Soon everyone returned to the city, joyful and happy because of Jesus’ love. God’s care is so wonderful! And He asks us to help sad people too. When we see someone who is sick or scared or lonely, Jesus wants us to say kind words and listen to them, to comfort them. We can love them as Jesus does. When we do, we are doing it for Jesus.