And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.Luke 7:11-13
When Jesus enters the city of Nain, He finds a very tragic scene unfolding and engulfing the city. A widow has lost her only son. This means she is now totally destitute and without hope in the world. Most of the city even recognizes the horror of her situation and they weep with her.
The people sympathized with her but Jesus had compassion on her.
Luke records that the first act of compassion Jesus did was to simply speak the words, “Weep not.” Jesus had yet to do anything that would relieve the anguish of the woman’s situation but His words are recorded as words of compassion.
How can this be?
The reason the woman did not need to weep was because the death of her son was not the end of her story. Jesus was there and He was going to do something about it!
Our lives are a mixture of joy and pain. And very often pain outweighs the joy we find in the world. This is because sin has a grip on this world and it is getting worse every day. The death of a loved one is probably the most excruciating pain that we can experience. And we will all experience it, probably multiple times, if Jesus does not return soon.
1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 does not forbid weeping under these conditions but we are not to weep as others who have no hope. We weep temporarily because Jesus has already risen from the dead and will return to raise our loved us and change us into His marvelous image.
We are told to comfort one another with the fact of the resurrection to come. Therefore, we should not just sympathize with the pain of others. We should have compassion on them by telling them that their pain is not the end of the story.
Jesus, is coming and He has already fixed it!