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5 Minute Jesus: He Cares


He Cares

Episode 36: 100 Pages

There’s no question that women were important to Jesus’ ministry and the record of it. There’s his mother, Mary, who sustained his life in utero and helped bring him into being. There were the women who financially supported his travel and ministry. And there were the women who watched his crucifixion; and those who arrived at his empty tomb prepared to see and touch his dead body, only to be the first to learn of his resurrection.

But their presence alone doesn’t tell me how he related to women. Was he nice? Or bossy? Was he intense or mean? Was he overbearing? Or reserved? I went back to stories that I thought I knew so well, I was beyond surprised. But no matter how many times I read about him, he always surprises me. Recently it was the way he interacted with a small town widow that got me, like an arrow to the heart. It goes like this:

He’s on his way into this town Nain, with his disciples and plenty of hanger-ons. They’re walking up to the gate where they meet another crowd coming out of it. A funeral procession. They’re carrying a coffin. A young man in the town has died. He was the only son of a widow, a nobody. She’s crying. She’s on her way to bury the last person she had left in the world.

Where I’m from, if you happen to meet a funeral procession you pull your car over to the side of the road. You stop, and you wait for every car in the procession to pass and then you go on your way. I was expecting Jesus to do something like that. Move aside, let the mourners pass, avert his eyes, or mumble his condolences and then continue into town. Maybe he’d bring a casserole over later on.

Instead he breaks into the funeral procession. He tells the widow “don’t cry.” And then, even stranger, he puts his hand on the coffin and talks to the body inside of it. People don’t usually do that at funerals. He tells the young man to get up, the way you might speak to someone who slept too long. The man gets up, and Jesus gives him back to his mother. In doing this, he turns a funeral into a birthday party, and what’s more, he’s given the widow her life back. His compassion for this woman is more than platitudes. He’s moved with love and pity for her so much that his heart leaps out of his chest and comes alongside her heart in her grief. 

And then at his word, all hope leaps to life. 

He cares about her, and her sadness. He cares about each of her tears. He sees her, and how it’s not just her son that’s died but her hope as well. And then at his word, all hope leaps to life.

I find him time and again like this in his interactions with women, and men too for that matter. He treats women with kindness and respect, with no expectations of them to be anything other than themselves. He sees them as they are in their being. Not by their appearance, or their status or lack of it. Or their family connections, or their role. Or by virtue of any cultural norm or practice. He’s delightfully free of ulterior or hidden motives. He doesn’t want to make money out of anyone, control anyone, persuade anyone to do something that they don’t want to do.

He is instead the loving Lord with us.

He is instead the loving Lord with us. He’s for us. He cares about our sorrows and tears. Our joys, and our hope. He cares about our lives. It’s his pure unmediated presence and the gentle arms of his heart reaching out that gets me every single time.

By Laurel Moffatt

Want to hear the rest of the episode?
Check out episode 36: “100 Pages”

Minute Jesus: A remarkable love ethic He cares




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