Others Devotional, volume 13

Do Not Weep by Ally Kornelis

Scripture: “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.’” Luke 7:13

These are difficult words to read recently. In fact, that I have rarely found myself weeping in public is something I never imagined I would be proud of myself for, but here we are. In Luke 7, Jesus has found himself in the presence of a funeral procession where a woman was weeping over the loss of her only son. As tragic as that sounds, this woman was also a widow which mean that losing her only son meant she also likely lost the financial stability she may have had. Women had much fewer opportunities to work and provide for themselves, and if you didn’t have a man to provide financially for you, you could easily find yourself in a vulnerable position.

We read that when Jesus came across this woman he had compassion on her and raised her son from the dead even as he is being carried outside of the city toward his grave. He tells her not to weep because out of his compassion, he is remedying the situation for her.

With the recent and unexpected loss of my stepfather Phillip, I have lost the only real father I had growing up, and my mother has become a widow who must now face the reality of losing a spouse and adjusting to a new and different life. While it is not as often the case now that widows are in such a vulnerable place without a man (not to mention that my mother also has four sons and a daughter who all would do anything to make sure she is taken care of), it is yet a situation in need of a remedy. During harvest season before he retired, it would not be unusual for Phillip to wake up at 6am, go to work until 1pm, sleep until 3pm, wake up and make a gourmet meal from scratch for the family always ready at 6pm, go to sleep around 8:30pm, wake up at midnight and go to work to wait for the dew to be ideal before he could harvest, and then come home and sleep until 6am and then do the whole thing over again. In addition to this he took care of all the finances, yard work – including a garden in which he would grow much of his own produce- grocery shopping and handyman tasks around the house. As I look around my house that is littered with things he has either made, fixed, or taught me how to use, it is clear that his absence will not go unnoticed. His absence is something that we weep over. We are found in a situation in need of a remedy.

Jesus gives us a foretaste of his remedy in this story as he instructs the woman not to cry. Her situation was dire: she had lost someone she loved; she has lost her stability. Our Lord looked upon her and suffered alongside her. We serve a Lord who thought of others. His compassion led him to remedy the situation. It may be tempting to look upon this story with envy. Why did Christ fix her situation and not mine? How many would love to receive this miracle for their own families? There are many ways my family would benefit from having Phillip around for several more years.

But here is the glorious truth: He has. In the same way that Christ remedied the situation for this woman, our God had compassion on all fallen humanity. Only a few chapters after this story, we hear the story of how Jesus Christ remedied the situation for all. When Jesus raises this son to life, he fixes the immediate problem this woman was facing. When Christ (also the only Son) was raised from the dead, he remedied the problem for all and forever. Because of His own resurrection we can be assured that one day all who believe in him will be raised in the same way, and there will be no more sorrow.

The hope and future that this woman receives when her son is raised from the dead is only a glimpse of the hope and future that Christ has secured for us. But we do still face sorrow now. And because Christ has redeemed our situation, the sorrow we suffer now is by no means meaningless. Jesus didn’t look upon this woman and say don’t weep because I’m going to fix things later. Even though Christ’s knew his plans for salvation, he took the time to ease this woman’s suffering which shows that he cares how we feel even now as we anticipate the resurrection. We have a God who shows compassion. Our God is a God who cares for others. He cares for you. Do not weep.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your compassion. Thank you that we don’t suffer in vain. Thank you for saving us from death and sin. Help us be ready for the resurrection and live in your love. Give us the grace to spread your compassion to everyone we meet. In your only son’s name we pray, Amen

About the Author: Ally Kornelis is a Visalia native and is in her second year teaching 8th grade English and Bible at CVC. She is married to another Visalia native, Michael Kornelis, who teaches high school Bible at CVC. In her free time she enjoys the challenge of finding ways to watch Cardinals games without buying cable, hiking, and eating.

Originally published on December 9, 2016.

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