They were all filled with awe and praised God.
“A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said.
“God has come to help his people.”
Luke 7:16 (NIV)
One of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible is Luke 7. Here we have four stories demonstrating the singular power, the amazing grace and the infinite compassion of our beloved Lord Jesus.
First, in verses 1-10, we read of our Lord healing a man from a distance.
Then there is the beautiful story in verses 11-17 of Jesus raising the dead son, the only son of a widow, during the funeral procession. Everything about this story is full of grace and truth.
Third we read about the tragedy of John the Baptist’s depression and struggle as he is locked up in prison awaiting death. In previous devotionals we have reflected on the gentle way our Lord deals with His older cousin. Finally there is the very remarkable story of how Jesus allowed a sinner to touch Him and perform an act of love toward Him (vss. 36-50).
What I wish you to focus your attention on are the words, “God has come to help his people.” V. 16. Luke tells us that the reaction of the people to Jesus’ use of His divine power was “awe” or “fear”. This emotion of respect, of being overwhelmed, of great amazement, caused them to make these two statements about Jesus. 1. Jesus is a great prophet, 2. Jesus is God coming to help us.
As you may struggle to walk in obedience to your Savior, remember Who He really is. You have not seen the marvelous things recorded in Luke 7 but they are there for you to enjoy. Read and reread this passage and soak in the incredible descriptions of our Lord in action.
Consider His tender heart as it went out to the mournful widow, following along after the dead body of her only son. What a truly compassionate Savior. He feels with us in our suffering, He still weeps over those who suffer. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
How kindly did He speak of His beloved, depressed, older cousin John as he struggled in prison over his ministry, and wondered if he had been mistaken after all about Who Jesus was. Our Lord heaped praise on the man who prepared the way for Him, calling him the greatest man who ever lived. Remember that John was—sidelined, confused, distressed, living in the shadow of death—but notwithstanding all his weakness, Jesus lifted the broken man up to praise him so lovingly.
This same Jesus is walking in the shadow with you today my friend. He tenderly wants to hold your hand and lead you all the way home to glory. Trust Him, speak to Him and tell Him all your sorrows, doubts, and fears. He will pour love and grace into your broken heart and soon, soon enough, shall lift you above all the tears of this life into the eternal light of His matchless presence. God is with us in Jesus! Hallelujah!