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September 15, 2015

The good news for today

A widow loses her only son. People gather to mourn her loss. They run into Jesus at the city gate. “When the Lord saw her, He felt deep pity for her and said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’” (Luke 7)

“The LORD…felt deep pity for her.”

If you grieve over a stranger’s pain, a real loss felt by someone else, a failure or hopelessness of another person, then you “get it.” The Good News of Jesus is “fellow-feeling,” noticing someone else’s weight of sorrow, their current of feeling, and somebody’s hurting heart. Jesus sees her tears—and registers her pain.

The Gospel writer stresses this insight into the emotional life of Jesus. Oh, Jesus might be a LORD—notice that this is a rare, rare instance when a Gospel writer uses that term for Jesus. Normally, people who “lord” it over others do not feel their pain. An executive or politician is engaged in weightier matters, ignorant and denying other’s hurt.

But Jesus is different. He registers what this stranger has lost. He intervenes in her grief to assure her of his sympathy. He has a genuine and authentic courage ready to help—to serve and support in any way he can—this sorrowing women in her loss. The Gospel writer includes a mention of this sympathy for your benefit.

Do you hurt when others do? That is the Good News. Another’s tears trigger your own. A broken heart causes you to feel real pity. A lonely, troubled soul—this is the Good News—calls you to sympathy—to do what you can to help. In time, you “get it,” that you yourself raise people from the dead—you lift their dreary, often regretful hopelessness to a new life. You gift them with resurrection.

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