I Say to You, GET UP!!!
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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.”
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.
BlogFam, do you realize that the Lord will see the hurt, pain, and grief of those around you and will raise you up in spite of the hopelessness of your own situation?
This is what I see in this story. This boy is dead. His mother is grieving. He is being carried to his burial. And when the Lord saw his mother, His heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Of course, it would not be unusual to read this passage from the perspective of this grieving mother and relate her situation to the loss we have all experienced in our lives. We have all lost something. Some of the things we have lost have caused us sorrow and some of the losses in our lives have been a source of joy. However, in this passage of scripture, this is clearly a sad moment in this woman’s life. This was her only son AND the text adds, she was a widow. This detail is significant because in those days, when the husband passed away, the son was the source of financial support for the one he left behind. So, she is in a desperate situation. She has no husband and now no son. She has lost her family as well as her source of financial stability. Thus, it is not a huge leap to more readily identify with this woman upon first reading of this text.
Furthermore, I do not know the last time you raised someone from the dead but I never have so it is fascinating to me that Luke would recount this story of Jesus doing just that. Jesus, doing something that defies all odds and affirms His power, such as raising anyone from the dead is phenomenal. He looks at the woman with compassion, his heart is moved, and he responds to her grief. She did not ask for her son to be raised but for reasons that we can only speculate, at best, he speaks to this corpse, “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. Amazing!
But today, I want us to reflect more closely on this text from the perspective of this young man who is introduced to us on his death bed. He has already taken his last breath. He has already been dismissed as a lost cause. He is already on his way to the grave. We do not meet him as a young person full of potential, dreams, and energy. We do not first encounter him as the dutiful son of his mother who has likely stepped up his care for his mother since the death of his father. We have no clue about his best friends, his romantic interests, or his favorite sports or subjects in school. Our first encounter with this young man reminds us that life as we know it will one day come to an end. One day we will leave everything and everyone we love behind. One day our plans will fall through because we will not even have the breath in our body to proactively bring them to pass.
Unfortunately, there are some of you who are alive and feel just like this young man. You feel like there is no hope for you or your situation. The last words have been spoken over your life and even those you love have counted you out. The funeral of your dreams has taken place and you have no expectation of a better tomorrow. The crowds have gathered to grieve, the grave has already been excavated, and the eulogy was spoken long before this moment. Yet, in spite of your lack of passion for ministry, your lack of consideration for those less fortunate than you, and your lack of initiative to be all that our God has created you to be, our Lord has heard the cries of those around you and is moved with compassion to speak life into your dead situation. This word of life being spoken over you has nothing and everything to do with you at the same time. Again, I ask, do you realize that the Lord will see the hurt, pain, and grief of those around you and will raise you up in spite of the hopelessness of your own situation?
This young man was dead. He did not hear the cries of his mother or see the tears of those who mourned with her or feel the need to act any differently because in that moment there was nothing to live for. But Jesus hears, sees, and feels everything that we cannot – especially when it comes to those around us AND because He is always ahead of the game, Jesus knows that the well-being, the success, the comfort, and even the salvation of those around you depends on YOU being alive and well in body and in spirit. Jesus KNOWS you need to be alive and my friends, today, I decree and declare the words of our Lord over your dying – and perhaps dead situation and “I say to you, GET UP!” GET UP!
Your life is not over and it will NOT end like this. You may not have had the courage or the strength or the presence of mind to ask the Lord to save you or to raise you or to motivate you or to propel you forward but because I love you and because there are people around you who have been loving and praying for you, the word of the Lord on THIS day is GET UP! It is NOT over until God says it is over!!! KEEP FIGHTING until your victory is WON!
And my sistas and brothas, when you GET UP, there will be people around you who will be filled with awe! When you GET UP, there will be people who will PRAISE GOD! When you GET UP, there will be those around you who will know that God has come to help God’s people! And most of all, when you GET UP, your life will be changed forever! You will sit up and speak up and you will get your life back!
My friends, I say to YOU, GET UP!!!
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