Lenten Study Day 14

Doing What’s Right

The Widow and Her Son

Jesus was a very busy man. He had a lot of work to do and very little time in which to do it. It would have been easy for Him to walk on by the funeral procession that day on His way to conduct other business. Instead, He stopped to do something incredible for a woman He didn’t even know.

In Jesus’ day, women had no rights. As a widow whose son had died, this poor woman now had no one to speak for her. She was nothing in her community. What would become of her? Suddenly, a man she had never seen before comes up to her and tells her not to be upset.

Then He did the most remarkable thing! He turns to her son and tells him to get up! GET UP? Is He kidding? The young man is dead. How is he going to get up? However, the young man does indeed get up and begins speaking. No wonder the crowd was afraid! At first, at least until they realized the incredible thing they had just witnessed. Then they began praising God and giving praise to Jesus.

What makes this story remarkable is the fact no one asked Jesus to do this great thing. He simply did it out of compassion for the widow and to demonstrate the power of God. What a remarkable way to show everyone that the Kingdom of God was now at hand!

This story offers one of the best examples of a simple act of kindness. Perhaps raising someone from the dead is not simple for any of us but it was simple for Jesus. He could have made excuses to Himself: I’m too busy, I don’t know this woman, she hasn’t asked my help, and on and on and on.

How many times during the day do you have an opportunity to do a simple act of kindness for someone you pass as you go through your day? Do you take a moment to help them or do you put your head down and hurry on to the next thing on your schedule? Do you always tell yourself that someone else will help them? Perhaps you think it’s not your problem? Whose problem is it then? Why was the widow Jesus’ problem? She wasn’t but He took a moment to do what He could to help her.

Take a moment to consider the times today you might have helped someone, something that would have only taken a moment. Consider the things that prevented you from offering help. Then determine how you might do better tomorrow. It doesn’t take much to do but it may mean so much to the other person. More than you may ever know.

Discussion Questions

1. What excuses do you give yourself for not offering help to strangers?

2. How can you make sure these excuses aren’t an obstacle in your life?

3. Talk to your children about their experiences offering help to others.

4. Discuss ways your family can be more open to offer help to people in need.

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