Miracles of Jesus: Resurrecting a Widow's Son

In Luke 7, the Bible Describes Jesus Bringing a Widow's Son Back to Life

Jesus miracle resurrection widow's son Nain
The painting "The Resurrection of the Widow's Son at Nain" (circa 1894) by James Tissot. Public domain

The Bible says that Jesus Christ was moved by the grief of a woman who had lost both her husband and her only son to death when Jesus met her during her son's funeral procession. Soon before, Jesus had performed the miracle of healing a paralyzed servant, and now he and the crowd following him walked toward a town called Nain and encountered the grieving woman and her dead son, being carried out of the town in his coffin.

Here's the story from Luke 7:11-17, with commentary:

His Heart Went Out to Her

The story begins in verses 11 through 13: "Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out -- the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don’t cry."

Jesus felt compassion for this woman who had lost so much to death. Not only had she lost two close loved ones (her husband and son), but she had also lost financial stability because the economy of her culture forced women to rely on men, throwing women who had no husbands or sons to care for them into poverty. Jesus noticed and cared about the woman's difficult circumstances. He sought her out and began a conversation with her by offering some comforting words.

Although the woman didn't yet know why she didn't have to cry, Jesus knew what he was planning to do: bring her dead son back to life.

Get Up!

The story continues in verses 14 through 17: "Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, 'Young man, I say to you, get up!'

The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

They were all filled with awe and praised God. 'A great prophet has appeared among us,' they said. 'God has come to help his people.'

This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country."

Witnessing a dead person come back to life, sit up, and start talking was startling enough. Then the crowd saw Jesus help the boy get out of his coffin and reunite with his mother. Seeing a miracle that dramatic caught people's attention, spreading the news about what Jesus could do to other people living in the surrounding area.

This is the first of Jesus' resurrection miracles that the Bible records. He would go on to raise other people during his ministry (such as his friend Lazarus, and a synagogue leader's daughter), and then come back to life himself on the first Easter, after his sacrificial death on the cross.

The resurrection miracles that Jesus performed before his own resurrection were signs of hope pointing to his ultimate mission, which he said was to save people in a fallen world from sin so they could connect with their Creator in eternal life. Jesus proclaimed that any person who placed their faith in him would go to heaven when they die, alive forever with God.