In this passage, we see how Jesus treated the grieving widow in Luke 7. His love and compassion for her instruct us in how we love others in times of pain and loss.
1. The Widow Was Grieving Her Family, Future, & Friends
The widow lost her husband and now her son—her whole family. Losing the men in her life meant that she was now destitute, financially ruined, and could only beg to provide for herself in the future. Add to that the stigma that catastrophe brought in that culture (see John 9:2), and we realize that the widow had lost her community, her friends as well. The death of her son may as well have been her own.
2. A Priest Who Sees With Compassion
Jesus has a crowd following him waiting for him to preach, hanging on his every word. But he stops in the street when he comes on the funeral procession. He doesn’t brush by it or get back to business—he sees the widow. And he lets himself be moved with compassion for the woman. Jesus is our great high priest who sees us with compassion (Hebrews 4:14-15).
3. The Conquering King and Joy-Giving Prophet
Jesus could tell the woman “don’t cry” because he is a conquering King who defeated death and holds the keys to it (Revelation 1:17-18). And in his compassion and power, he revealed God himself—he is a prophet bringing joy to the people (v.16).
Reflection & Application Questions
- Jesus is prophet, priest, and king. Which of these is most encouraging to you? Which is most challenging for you to accept? Why?
- In Galatians 6:2, we are called to bear one another’s burdens. Who around you is carrying a burden that you can bear with them? What burdens do you have that you can invite others to bear with you?
- Jesus sees the widow in her grief; we can’t show compassion without really seeing people. What prevents you from seeing others? How can you grow in seeing others in their need?
- When you see others in need, do you let yourself be moved with compassion as Jesus was? What obstacles stand in the way of this for you?
- Jesus is King—so we don’t have to fear death! What fears come up consistently in your life? How does faith in Christ as King put aside our fear?
- What don’t you have in your life that you wish you did? Do you believe Jesus can give it? If you don’t have what you want, do you trust his wisdom to withhold it from you right now?