THE ONLY SON
Luke 7:11 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. 12 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. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. 18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
In this passage we have The Living, Only Son raising a dead, only son! And with the phrase “the day after,” we may connect the previous event of the centurion’s servant to this present one. And we see that in the situation of the centurion, (Acts 7:1-10), the Lord Jesus appears more as God, the Son. For that portion states that he “marvelled” at faith. And it is faith that pleases God! (Hebrews 11:5,6). But here in our present text he appears more as the Son of man, for he is moved with compassion on the widowed mother, walking in the procession of the death of her child.
And in the account of the centurion it is said that he was “besought” by the Jews to attend the centurion’s situation. But in our account of the death of this only son, he is not sent for. In the matter of this death, he is only directed by his own will. Listen as he speaks of his personal authority concerning his relation to death: John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
He does not go with the centurion to view a dying servant, for servitude never dies in his kingdom. Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Revelation 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
But he does go, of his own volition, to deal with the death of this only son. For he, as the only begotten Son, must die as the supreme and final sacrifice in order to bring satisfaction to the Father, fulfill the law, and bring salvation for all those chosen in him!
And in order for a more complete understanding of His complete sovereignty, we must also review the glorious words that the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostle Paul, which reveal the purpose of God in all things in Christ: Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
And this city of Nain is never mentioned on the pages of the scriptures before or afterward! He comes here of his own will for a one time event in order to attend a glorious picture of his death on the cross, to which he must only go once! Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Therefore as he comes but once to Calvary, so he comes this once to Nain. And he first confronts death here in its victory against this only son of a widowed mother. This scene is specifically both “by him,” and “for him.” Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Early in his ministry he has here orchestrated, by the things which are seen, the invisible mystery of the death and resurrection of the God-man, the only begotten Son of God!
The word, Nain is derived from the Hebrew word translated in Jeremiah 23:10 as, the pleasant places. And just as man was placed in the beautiful, thornless setting of Eden, so here in this pleasant town of Nain, death had entered! Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
Here the First Begotten from the dead shall confront and destroy the last enemy! Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
It is interesting to notice that the Lord’s focus is upon the woman, the mother of the dead son. In verse thirteen he sees her, has compassion on her, and speaks to her! For he looks not upon the son until he intends to raise him. His love and sympathies are upon that which represents the church – the mother of us all. (Gal. 4:6). Listen to this love expressed to his own natural mother at his death: John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. What a glorious Savior he is! How unbelievable is his love to his Bride! Why would anyone not want to love and worship Him?
This is at the very heart of the glory of God! The complete salvation (from their justification, by issuing them faith, unto an eternal glorification, by his return for them in his highest glorified state), is that which the Father intended and the Son supplied! Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
And as the “seeing” of the Son, by faith brings justification to God’s elect, (John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.), so the seeing of Him in his highest glory upon his return shall bring eternal glorification to the entire body of believers! 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
All mediation shall then have ended, as Christ shall return with no more provision for sin (Hebrews 9:28), having accomplished all that his subordination purposed, and shall now appear as God all in all! And just as the spiritual sight of Christ, by faith raised up all believers into the justification of salvation, so the physical sight of Him in his highest glory as God all in all, shall raise the entire church into their glorification. They shall see him as he then is!
And what a glorious matter it shall then be to the glorified redeemed to realize that their sin does not pollute their Savior! For the passage states that he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. But the law states, He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. (Num. 19:11). But this dead body did not effect him. He affected it! Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
In fact, death was his servant which he ‘used’ to accomplish the destruction of Satan and all the forces of darkness, and also to deliver all those of his who were subject thereunto! Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
It is regrettable that the sleepy-headed, wise virgins do not presently realize the magnitude of their Savior’s redemptive work. And this is why we do not have any more worship than we do at present. But, thanks be unto God, they shall be awakened to see him as he is in full realization of his glorious person and work! And that is why we shall be enabled to worship and adore him throughout eternity!
Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Religion’s church bulletins state, “Worship Service.” But it should be changed, if we would be honest, to “Our Issue Service!” For we do not come to set the Lord before us to be worshipped. We come to set forth our pet issues in order to form men to our mind set. Psalm 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! When shall we “Rise up, O men of God and have done with lesser things?”
Our final issue in this article is of glorious matter. And it is that both Only Son’s arose! In verse fourteen of our text it states that the Lord addresses the dead only son and commands, Arise! The result? And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And so it shall be at the last day when the final trumpet and effectual voice shall sound forth that all the dead shall rise. And those in the resurrection of life shall then have their voice to glorify their Savior and Lord forever!
For it is only because He lives that we shall live also! John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. And that resurrection of his already provides our spiritual resurrection of present justification, in order that we may begin to walk in newness of life, shunning the evil paths in which we previously walked. Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
And our spiritual resurrection of regeneration is the indisputable evidence of future glory! (Col. 1:27).
Pastor Gene Breed, May 7, 2014