Thursday, March 8, 2012
His Heart Went Out to Her
"His heart went out to her...." I love that! It shows the emotional side of Jesus in a story about a widow woman plodding slowly along in a funeral procession for the burial of her only son. The mourners were passing through the city gate just as Jesus and a huge crowd of followers arrived at the village. From a distance he saw her crying and broke away from the mass of people surrounding him. When he caught up with her, he gently told her, "Don't cry..." By including the expression translated as "His heart went out to her," the Gospel writer is giving us a glimpse of the emotion and feeling that was typical of Jesus. His heart yearned to do something for her. He had never met her before. She wasn't asking for anything. Jesus was simply overwhelmed with a desire to show compassion and mercy and as a result raised her son from the dead.
Though the astounding miracle brought glory to his name, every indication is this was not the primary reason for his intervention. Yes, we are awestruck and inspired beyond words by the miracle of her son being raised from the dead. But in these stories about Jesus, it is easy to skip over poignant little phrases such as "his heart went out to her" and "don't cry" because they are often overshadowed by the bigger events that usually get most of the focus. But what comfort and reassurance can be had by picking up on these few, yet highly significant words tucked into the narratives of Jesus' life. They allow us to relate to him more personally.
And how reassuring to realize that because he cares so deeply, he steps in even if we, for whatever reason, don't ask for help. His goodness can touch anyone anytime. Though he was surrounded by people, Jesus' eye caught the exhausted grieving widow, tears flowing as she struggled to keep up with her son's funeral procession If his heart went out to the widow woman, we can be assured his heart goes out to all of us as well in the midst of our troubles. That's just who he is.
**To read the story as told by the widow who lost her only son, click onto "Don't Cry..." under Recent Posts.