Melkite Church of the Annunciation, Jerusalem. Image by seetheholyland.net via Flickr; licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
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Raising the Widow’s Son
Luke 7:1-17 Commentary
by Michal Beth Dinkler
By this point in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ healing powers are well-established.
Already by Luke 7, he has miraculously performed exorcisms (Luke 4:31-37, 41), cured diseases (Luke 4:38-40), cleansed a leper (Luke 5:12-13), healed a paralytic (Luke 5:17-26), and healed the dying servant of a Roman centurion (Luke 7:1-10). Still, Jesus has not yet demonstrated an ability to overturn death, which makes the episode in Luke 7:11-17 even more dramatic.
As Jesus enters the town of Nain, a village near Nazareth, he encounters the burial procession of a widow’s only son. Moved by compassion for the woman, Jesus raises the man from the dead, and the story culminates in the news about Jesus spreading throughout Judea.
How does this scene fit into the Gospel narrative as a whole? If we read beyond this week’s Narrative Lectionary passage to next week’s text, the placement of this pericope at this point in the Gospel makes sense. In Luke 7:22, Jesus will tell John the Baptist’s disciples to report back to John that they have seen and heard miraculous signs, ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
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The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL255: Raising the Widow's Son
February 05, 2017
This podcast on Luke 7:1-17, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 5, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.