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Luke 7:11-17

HE CAME TO ME

Intro: I’m saved today! I praise God that I am. But, even as I say that, I realize that I had nothing to do with my salvation. I am saved because Jesus came to me. I am saved because He did what I could not do for myself. I am saved because one day Jesus came into my heart and saved my soul. I am saved by grace. I am saved perfectly, completely and eternally and I did not have one thing to do with it; not did I contribute one thing to it. I am saved because He came to me!

As I read the Gospels, I see this same truth lived out time and again. There is passage after passage showing Jesus as He goes to people trapped in desperate situations. Whether it is a sinful woman at Jacob’s well; a blind man at the Temple; a poor beggar in Jericho; or a rich man in a tree; we are given the privilege of watching as Jesus moves in power for people who are trapped in hopeless and helpless situations.

I want to look into one of those wonderful times today. I want to look in on a pitiful little scene in a tiny hamlet called Nain. I want to watch Jesus do the impossible and the incredible one more time. Please join me in this passage and we think on the simple thought: He Came To Me.

I want to show you what Jesus can and will do when He comes into your impossible situation. I want to show you what He can do for every soul that will trust Him by faith. Please allow me to make three observations from the text as I preach on He Came To Me.

 

I. v. 12 WHEN HE CAME IT WAS A TIME OF DEATH

A. When Jesus came to Nain that day; He did not arrive at a joyous moment. He arrived during a time of great grief and mourning. The name “Nain literally means beauty.” But, there was no beauty in Nain that day. Death had invaded the little town of Nain.

We are told that the victim is a young man, v. 14. That he is “the only son of his mother, v. 12. And we are told that he is dead! A great crowd of mourners are making their way through the gates of the city, to a little cemetery, where he is to be buried.

As was the custom in that day, the people of the city had stopped what they were doing and had joined the funeral procession as it made its way through town. The mother would have been in front. She would have been followed by those who carried the open coffin, which contained the body of her son. Behind them would have been those who were mourning the boy’s death. These people would have been wailing, crying and chanting phrases of grief and mourning. Some may have been friends and relatives; others may have been paid to come and help mourn the death of the boy. Those bringing up the rear would have been the town’s folk who followed out of respect for the dead.

B. Here is a young man whose life had been filled with great potential. He might have had hopes of marriage and of fathering children, but now he is dead. There may have been plans of going into business to support himself and his widowed mother, but now he is dead. Those eyes which had been bright with the gleam of youth are now dulled by death. That mind that had hoped and dreamed was now stilled by the cold embrace of death. That voice that had laughed and cried has been silenced forever. Death has come and it has brought with it all the cruelness and heartache it possesses.

C. But, death has been part of the human experience ever since man sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. Ever since Adam chose to go his way instead of God’s way, death has stalked and claimed life after life. This was the warning of God to Adam, Gen. 2:17. And, this was the experience of Adam, Gen. 5:5. It has been, and it continues to be the experience of every human that has ever lived, with the exception of Elijah and Enoch. Death, and its pain, is part and parcel of the human experience Heb. 9:27. What happened at Nain is what has been happening to men since the dawn of time. Death has come! And, friend, just as death has come for others, one day it will come for you and me!

D. I think that there is more here than just the physical death of a mother’s only son. I think this boy, in his physical death, is a picture of what spiritual death is all about. I will call your attention back to Genesis 2:17. In that verse, God told Adam that the day he ate of the forbidden fruit, would be the day he died. Isn’t that how you read that verse? But, did Adam die that day? Well, physically he did not die, for he lived hundreds of more years. But, spiritually, he died the very day he ate of that fruit.

You see, there is something far worse than physical death! You see, the Bible tells us Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death. That verses does not only refer to the death of this body, but it refers to the eternal destiny of the lost soul in Hell! Dying in this world is one thing, but spending eternity in Hell, separated from the presence of God, with no hope of salvation, is infinitely more tragic!

That is the end of the person who lives their life without God and dies lost, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. There is a sense in which men can be dead now, even though are alive physically. Ephesians 2:1 teaches that horrible truth; but this young man illustrates it!

E. That young man was there physically, but he could not hear the cries of his mother. He was there, but the mourning and the grieving did not affect him. He was headed to a cemetery and they were going to place his body in the cold earth, but he neither knew it nor cared about it. He was dead and the things of earth; the things associated with life had no affect on him whatsoever. He was there, but he was oblivious to life; and he was beyond the touch of those who loved him still. His was a hopeless situation!

What a picture of the lost man or woman! Physically they are alive and well. They can see, hear, think, move, speak and go about their lives. But, they are dead spiritually. They cannot see, hear or feel God. They are dead to God, to His Word and to His moving and working in the world. They are unmoved by the cross and the empty tomb. They are unaffected by good gifts and great blessings of a holy God. They are dead in their sins and they are oblivious to the life that is available in God. I’ve been there! If you are saved you have been there! If you have never been saved, you are there right now! It is a horrible place to exist. But, that is the way it is for everyone who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior today! It was a time of death! It was a time of death when Jesus came to me.

 

II. v. 12 WHEN HE CAME IT WAS A TIME OF DESPERATION

A. You will notice the wording of the text: “there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Here is a woman who has already felt the icy hand of death as it took her husband from her life. The only things remaining from her marriage are a few memories and the only son that she and her husband brought into the world. Now, her precious son has been taken away by death as well.

But, there is more here than just the death of a beloved son. This poor woman has no one left to care for her in her old age. In that day there was no welfare or assistance available to widows like her. It was up to a woman’s children, especially her sons, to see that she was cared for in her declining years. But, she has no one left! She is all alone, helpless and caught in a desperate condition. She has nothing to look forward to except poverty and despair. She is at the mercy of others people’s kindness. She has nowhere to go and nowhere to turn. She finds herself trapped in a helpless condition.

B. Just as this dead son is a picture of the lost person and their dead condition; this poor widow woman is a picture of that lost individual who is helplessly trapped in the bondage of their sins. That is just what sin is: it is bondage! Consider the following verses and heed their message. Ephesians 2:1-3; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:8-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Luke 4:18.

C. I am trying my best to get you to see the truth today! If you have never been saved; if you have never trusted Jesus as your Savior; then you are in the same condition as that boy: you are dead in your sins right now! If you have never trusted Jesus for salvation, you are in the same shape as that poor woman. You are trapped in a set of circumstances that you are powerless to change. You have nothing to look forward to but a life of bondage to sin and the whims of the world, the flesh and the devil. Then, after you die, you have hope of nothing but an eternity in Hell! My friend that is a desperate place to be! But, it was that place in which I found myself at one point in my life! It was a time of utter desperation when Jesus came to me!

 

III. v. 13-17 WHEN HE CAME IT WAS A TIME OF DELIVERANCE

(Ill. Thank God, the story does not end with a dead son and a desperate mother! As that little band of mourners was making their way out of town to go to that cemetery, they met another group of people who were making their way into that town. The first group was weeping over the death of a young man. The second group was rejoicing over the power of Jesus that was demonstrated in the healing of a centurion’s servant, Luke 7:1-10. The first group was led by a sobbing mother; the second group was led by a Sovereign Master. When those two groups met at the gates of the city of Nain, a time of death and a time of desperation became a time of deliverance.)

A. That afternoon at the gates of Nain, there were several meetings that took place. Notice this:

      Two Groups Met - One group was headed to a cemetery and that other group was headed to a city! So it is in life! There are but two groups. One group is headed to Hell, and is even now under the condemnation and judgment of God, John 3:36. The other group, those who are following Jesus are headed to an eternal city of glory, joy and perfect peace, Rev. 21:4; John 14:1-3.

      Two Sons Met One was the son of a man, and he was dead. The other was the Son of God and He was and is the Prince of Life, John 11:25-26.

      Two Sufferers Met One was a broken hearted widow, going to bury her only son. The other was the Lamb of God Who came into this world to suffer rejection, crucifixion and death for the sins of the world, Isa. 53:1-12; John 1:11; Mark 10:45.

      Two Enemies Met The first enemy was death. He had invaded and devastated this little family. The other was Life. When He same, He defeated death and drove him away!

B. When Jesus arrived at Nain that afternoon, He arrived during a time of desperation and of death. Notice how He overcame both by His power.

1. v. 12 The Sovereign Lord Spoke Peace To A Suffering Lady We are told that Jesus had compassion on this woman. When He saw her, He understood her circumstances and He knew what kind of future she faced. Her need touched His heart and He did something about it for her. She had not invited Jesus, yet He came anyway. He traveled over 25 miles to get from Capernaum to Nain so He could work in her need. He came to her at the very moment she needed Him! She wasn’t even looking for Him, but He showed up anyway. She might not have even known about Jesus, but He knew about her. When I read this account, I get the impression that He did all of this just for her! What grace!

2. v. 13-15 The Sovereign Lord Spoke Life To A Slain Lad After calming the mother, Jesus merely speaks to the dead boy and he immediately shows two clear signs of life. First, he sat up and then he spoke.

It would not have been uncommon for a dead man to sit up. I have heard my great-grandmother talk about funerals in her youth, which took place before the days of embalming, when dead bodies sat upright during the service. But, for a dead man to start talking was a clear sign that he was no longer dead! (Ill. I wonder what he said?)

Just as He had for that mother, Jesus operated in grace for this son. He had not asked to be raised up; but he was raised anyway. The sovereign power of God moved in a hopeless and helpless situation and changed it for the glory of God!

When the Prince of Life met the cruel enemy death in Nain; Life prevailed and conquered death! But, this was merely a skirmish. The real battle would be found sometime later in a garden tomb. When that battle took place, Jesus did not just defeat death for one man, He defeated death for all who will believe on Him by faith!

C. This is a clear picture of what Jesus does for those who are trapped in the cold grip of sin. He comes even though we are not looking for Him. He comes even though we have not called for Him. He comes even though we do not deserve Him. He comes to us because He loves us, Jer. 31:3. He comes to us in grace, Eph. 2:8-9. When He comes, completely and permanently changes our condition.

      He brings us out of death into life - John 5:24; Eph. 2:1-5

      He delivers us from our hopeless condition – John 8:36; Rom. 8:1-2

      He causes us to demonstrate the characteristics of His life – 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:22-23.

      In other words, Jesus delivers us from the death and desperation of our sins and brings us into the glory and liberty of His life.

D. Jesus moved in grace and power and broke up that little funeral procession that day. He gave that son back to that mother and restored that family. He gave them hope in place of their fear. He gave them life in the place of their death. He gave them everything they needed to turn around and go home with joy in their hearts!

E. What Jesus did that day in Nain, He did in my life one day as well. I was dead in my sins and in a desperate condition. But, He came in grace and turned my death and my desperation into a time of deliverance! What a Savior! What love! What grace!

 

Conc: We are not told what that boy said when he was raised from the dead, sat up and began to speak. But, if you have spoken to him in later years, he might have sang this old song,

 

The gulf that separated me from Christ, my Lord,

It was so vast the crossing I could never ford;

From where I was to His demand, it seemed so far;

I cried, "Dear Lord, I cannot come to where you are."

 

He came to me, O, He came to me.

When I could not come to where He was, He came to me.

That's why He died on Calvary;

When I could not come to where He was, He came to me.

 

He came to me when I was bound in chains of sin,

He came to me when I possessed no hope within;

He picked me up and He drew me gently to His side,

Where, today, in His sweet love I now abide.

 

He came to me, O, He came to me.

When I could not come to where He was, He came to me.

That's why He died on Calvary;

When I could not come to where He was, He came to me.

 

Do you remember the day Jesus came to you? What a day that was in my life. I was dead in my sins and headed to Hell, but Jesus in His grace came to where I was. He raised me to life, gave me hope and glory in my soul, and He set me on a new path! He came to me!

Friend, He can come to you today. He can change your life as well. He can raise you up; set you on a new path, give you hope and joy. Do you need Him today? He is here and if He is speaking to you, it means that He has come to where you are. All He asks of you is that you look to Him by faith and He will save you by His grace!

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