The Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain
Reflections on Luke 7:11-17 Part 2

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The Bible in Your life and Your Life in the Bible

"I Say to You Arise!" (Luke 7:14)

I SAY TO YOU ARISE! (LUKE 7:14) Part 2

(A talk given during a Transform Sehion Ministries Meeting)

The second category is that of the disciples, walking in close proximity to Jesus, interacting with him on a personal level, learning from him and enjoying his continuous presence. These are the committed Christians, those who seek first the Kingdom of God and experience the abundance God has in store for us all:
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” - these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The third category is that of the crowd accompanying Jesus and his disciples. Although they are in the procession of life, part of the people of God on the march, they follow at a distance; almost as spectators. We compare these to Christians who go through all the motions, they go to church, they seek the gifts but not the giver; they seek an emotional experience; they are there to satisfy their curiosity and their own needs, these have a religion of convenience only. They are less committed or perhaps not committed at all. Of the crowd John says:
many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them. (John 2:23)

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. … This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. ... But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. (Matthew 13:10-13; 16, 17)
Those belonging to the crowd are invited to arise from their lukewarm commitment and enter into the rest of God, into the secrets and power of the Kingdom, into the peace, joy and abundant life in Christ.

Which category are we in? Are we among the spiritually dead, the disciples or the crowd?

So there is one procession marching in the presence of a corpse and the other in the presence of the source of life. The episode reminds us that today we have the same choice that is as old as humanity itself, the choice between life and death. The first couple had to face this choice, the choice between the tree of life and the tree that led to death. That same choice we find again in Deuteronomy 30:19.

I place before you blessings or curses, life or death choose life so that you and your children may live.

The first catechism of the church, the Didache, or Teaching of the Apostles begins by highlighting that same choice:
There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways. (Didachè 1:1)
There are two possible journeys open to us. One, the way of death, is the wide and spacious way that leads to destruction and the other, the narrow way, leading to life.
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew. 7:13, 14)

Are we walking in the direction of death or in the direction of life? Are we moving at all or are we being left behind as the people of God marches forward? It is a choice that must be made. Not to make a choice for life is, in fact, to choose death, choosing not to walk means being left behind.

Next page Luke 7:11-13 Reflections part 3 >>
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