There are some events recorded in the Bible that make me stop to ponder the impact on the people. Some are obvious, people are celebrating, people are angry, but what do these moments leave in their wake?
Jesus and his usual entourage approach the gates of a small village among the hills, south of Nazareth, called Nain. The group is forced to a halt by the sad scene of a family funeral coming their way. It takes only a moment to understand what is transpiring. A funeral litter bearing a young man’s body is being carried by his friends. A lone, widow is walking behind them. And even though many from the village are following, it will not be long before she returns to her now-empty home.
Jesus takes in the unfolding realities and His heart aches for this poor woman. He approaches her and says, “Don’t cry.”  He knows she has lost her son – she has likely watched him die – now if He doesn’t do something, she will watch him be buried next to his father. He is filled with compassion for this woman and moves in to do the impossible.
He touches the litter and the pallbearers stop.
He turns to the dead man and speaks. “Young man, I say to you get up!”
The power of God floods into the dead body of the man and the creature responds to the creator’s command. He sits up, he begins to speak.
Jesus instructs the pallbearers to give the man back to his mother.
Awe floods over the crowd, they declare that a great prophet is among them.
What happens next is strange to me. A great miracle has been done Jesus has raised a man from the dead! The book of Luke reports that John the Baptist’s disciples are apparently moved to visit him in jail with this news.
This part makes sense to me: Raising the dead is next-level action even for Jesus. But oddly, John does not conclude that Jesus is the Messiah. He sends these disciples back to Jesus to ask “IF” he is the Messiah. They ask, “Are you the one we have been waiting for, or should we look for another?”
WOW! What do you need, man? If this does not seal the deal what will? John is a great man of faith, willing to face whatever comes. But when he is sitting in jail, and no one is coming to get him, he questions the identity of Jesus. The rubber has met with the proverbial road.
Jesus doesn’t answer the question. He says, “Go back and tell John what you have seen.”
It’s an impressive list. The blind see, the lame walk, the leper is clean, a man is alive who was dead, and the poor have the good news preached to them. But the news about Jesus is not a theological construct or a biographical reality, it is and always has been a personal testimony.
This is why the church exists today. People have born the testimony of their own experience with Jesus, from then to now. People have told their story. People have lived and loved like Jesus and impacted another’s story.
Before John faced the blade of the executioner, Jesus gave him the assurance he needed. He let his own friends tell him what they had discovered personally about Jesus.
If the story is to move on, it has to happen through you.
Blessings as you add another link to the chain of witnesses,