The Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain
Reflections on Luke 7:11-17 Part 5

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

I SAY TO YOU ARISE! (LUKE 7:14) Part 5

(A talk given during a Transform Sehion Ministries Meeting)

The power of the Lord of life is never far from us. He is here, in the midst of his people. Let us listen to his voice saying to us: “I say to you, arise”. Indeed, the very reason why he came was that each one of us here today could arise from the power of evil, the power of suffering, the power of adverse circumstances and sin. Suffering and death are evil and it is through the power of the cross and resurrection that we have victory over these. He is saying the same words to us today: ‘I say to you, arise, arise from your apathy, arise from your discouragement, arise from your sadness and despair, arise from your feelings of inadequacy and sin, arise from all that is weighing you down and “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). ‘I say to you arise’ for the Kingdom of God in is our midst, the Kingdom of peace, love, freedom and power.

This raising of the young man from the dead is an anticipation of the resurrection of Christ, and of our resurrection in him, here and now, not just after death. If he is alive, if he is risen then so are we for we are in him and he is in us.
God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved —and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6)
Let us abandon not only the procession of death, let us also distinguish ourselves from the crowd to become true disciples enjoying the life of Christ himself, let us arise and march forward.

What the crowds saw that day was a powerful manifestation of the identity of Christ, through whom God visited his people. It was such a sublime, awesome revelation in action that the people were ‘seized by fear’. This does not mean they were scared; on the contrary, this would have been incompatible with their glorifying God. Some versions have ‘awe’ instead of ‘fear’. When we speak of the fear of God there are two meanings. One meaning is, in fact, what we would normally call being ‘afraid’. This is the negative emotion appropriate to unbelievers who should literally fear the judgement of the Lord. The second meaning is a sentiment of awe, wonder, respect, unworthiness, something similar to what we would feel in the presence of an important person, such as a head of state. In 1 John we read:
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:17, 18)
Fear, in the sense of being afraid, is incompatible with the love of God in us, incompatible with agape in us. Why is this so? ‘because as he is so also are we in this world’. We could spend hours reflecting on these words alone ‘as he is so also are we in this world’. Again the choice facing us is either to accept Christ and possess his very own love and be free of fear and confident in the day of judgement or not to accept him and remain in fear having no confidence. The choice is between death and life, between fear and confidence, between rising up in response to the call or continuing to be oppressed in the chains of death and fear. No wonder there is so much despair in the world, so much destruction, frustration and suicide. Many have lost hope, lost all sense of direction and truth. So much death within! Much around us seems to be fake, unreal, unconvincing and deceptive.

Next page Luke 7:11-13 Reflections part 6 >>
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