Jesus’ Miracles – He that was dead sat up! | Luke 7:1-17

December 16, 2013

Topic: Faith

Book: Luke


In Luke 7, Jesus was in the little town of Capernaum. Jesus had been approached by some servants of a Roman centurion. Now the Romans were hated by the Jews because they were the rulers of the land. Israel was not independent at this time, so normally the Romans were despised and hated by the Jews but not this centurion. We discover that he was a man who had been very kind to the Jewish people. He had done many good things for them. Some elders on behalf of this centurion approached Jesus asking him to come. This centurion had a servant who was very close to him and was very, very sick.

So the word had come from the centurion to Jesus, “Will you please come and heal my servant.” As Jesus got closer to the home of this centurion, soon he was met by some friends that the centurion had sent who brought a message to Jesus:

Luke 7:6-8

6“Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Now this is a powerful Roman centurion who commanded the troops. As a Roman centurion, he had the weight of the Roman government behind him. So since he was a man under authority, he could give orders and those orders will be carried out. I think he was saying to Jesus, “I know who you are. Heavens and earth are under your authority. I know that all you have to do is speak the word and my servant will be healed.”

Luke 7:9

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

Only twice in all of Scripture was Jesus said to “marvel” or be amazed. The other time was when he began his public ministry in his hometown of Nazareth, and he was rejected by his fellow Jews – “He was amazed by their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:6, Luke 4:14-30). The centurion had a faith that was more sensitive than anything Jesus had witnessed in Israel.

If Jesus looks at our life today would he be amazed at our lack of faith? What could be more thrilling than to amaze Him with one’s faith? This centurion had amazing faith!

So Jesus did not go to his house but when those servants who had brought the message from the centurion returned home and lo the servant was well. What a great event it is. This sick servant would have been greeting everyone back in the centurion’s house and praising God.

If you have faith today, faith now, by the time you reach your home your situation will change. Faith can transform a person from a sick bed to jumping in joy.

It was a big day in Jesus’ ministry. If we were the disciples we would have thought, “Well the platform is set, Jesus can have a great ministry in this town of Capernaum now with this miracle and all of the people talking, and the word going out about it, Jesus can stay here for a long campaign of many days.” God does not think like we do many times and we do not think like God does many times. We see Jesus hurriedly leave Capernaum.

Jesus left the town very abruptly and made his way to the little city of Nain. It was to the southwest of Capernaum on the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. It would have been a long day’s journey, walking nonstop as if for some urgency and we discover in Luke 7 that the next day Jesus approached that city of Nain.

Luke 7:12a

As he approached the town gate, (He has not quite arrived, but he is close by now, he is approaching the gate, the entrance of the city.)

Luke 7:12

As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Hope and life were going in, and death and sorrow were coming out. Wherever Jesus went he went for a reason. So when Jesus healed that centurion’s servant, he knew something was happening elsewhere. He was needed by someone who wanted him, who was in desperation there in the city of Nain. So Jesus interrupted that ministry which had just begun with the healing of the centurion’s servant there in the city of Capernaum, and he made his way on this long quick journey to reach the city of Nain.

God’s time

Now you might say, “Well did he really arrive at the right time? After all the man had already died. Couldn’t Jesus who knew everything have come a little sooner? Of course, he could have come but He needed to heal this centurion’s servant, he had another ministry. So he did not come until after the young man had died, but it was just at the right time. Jesus arrived as the funeral procession was getting outside the city for burial.

This was a great funeral procession. He was being carried by friends and relatives, and his mother totally brokenhearted, crushed with no concept of how she could make it in life from this point on. She had lost her son whom she loved. She did not have wealth left with her to live on. He was the means of her life, all her money time and love she invested in him. She could not see any glow of light in the future, she was desperate. Jesus arrived just in time as they were leaving the gate of the city.

Probably some may be thinking that your deliverance is taking a lot of time. Things may be getting too late according to your timetable. You do not see a breakthrough. Nothing is happening, may be you lost all hope. No, Jesus will never leave you. He has a miracle for you just in the nick of time. He is always in time for your needs.

Luke 7:13

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Jesus had compassion on her and he arrived just at the right time.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus saw her v13 he had compassion on her and he said, “Lady don’t cry, don’t weep.” Jesus then came and touched that funeral bier on which this young man’s body was being carried. The Bible says when he touched it that they that bear him stood still. We are not told that he said anything to them. It is something about the presence of God that when Jesus touched that bier on which the young man was being carried, they stopped.

Luke 7:14

Then Jesus went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”

Now the Bible says this man was lifeless. He had died. Jesus spoke to this dead man and he said, “Arise.”

Luke 7:15

The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. It would have been a great sight isn’t it? I have never seen a body in a casket sit up and start to speak. But this dead man sat up when Jesus spoke to him on the funeral procession.

I am not sure exactly how it happened. Perhaps the young man was already prepared for burial, wound in the linens and prepared with spices. In any case, here he is sitting up on this funeral bier and Jesus tenderly helps him get down and he presents him to his mother. He gave him back to her alive.

As a result of this miracle, three things happened.

Luke 7:16a

They were all filled with awe and praised God.

The result of God working in our lives.

1. People feared and praised God.

When God does a miracle in your life, the people around you will start praising God. You see, until now the people around this woman were offering condolences, crying with her, saying she has no hope, how will she make it in life etc; but when the miracle happened all praised God.

Some of you probably are in the same situation today. People around you are looking at you as a failure, no hope but when God arises, his enemies are scattered, miracles happen, and the same people who talked against you, who condemned you will praise my God. The Bible says fear came upon all the people and they praised God.

Fear of the Lord will come to the people around us when God works for us. Amen!

2. People recognized Jesus as God.

Luke 7:16

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.

The Second thing that this miracle caused the people to do was conclude that “God has come to help his people and Jesus is God.” Yes, Jesus came into this world to help people, to help you. He knows your needs today even if you do not ask him. The widow never asked him but Jesus helped her anyway. He came to help you to be joyful and blessed. There is help for you in Christ Jesus.

3. The good news spread.

Luke 7:17

This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. This is the heart of Jesus for you, that the news of Jesus be known to you first and then each one of us take this news of Jesus and tell it to the world outside.

You discover as you read the next verses that even John heard about it in prison from his disciples. John sent disciples from prison to Jesus to ask him, “Are you really the one who was to come?” When they approached Jesus, without giving them an answer he just performed great numbers of miracles and then he said to them, go back to John and tell him everything you have seen and heard.

Even today like John many doubt who the real God is. It is only through our lives, the deliverance, joy, blessedness of us that we can show the world that Jesus lives.


Today, you may not have the faith like the centurion, you may not be rich and influential, maybe you are not close to Jesus as was Martha and Mary, you may not have Jesus’ mother to recommend that the wine is over but Jesus knows your need. We all can identify more with the widow of Nain. Secretly you wonder if Jesus hears our prayers and notices your tears. Perhaps you are like the widow, your heart has run out of hope? You need to connect to the source of hope. With Christ there is always hope for your sorrows. Amen.

Now that is an account of an actual historic event that took place. Here is a dead man who was raised from the dead. Now there are some great Bible truths that we can learn from this event.

Who is Jesus Christ?

  1. Jesus is willing to come to anyone and to any home.

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

  1. Jesus has all authority.

Matthew 28:18

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

  1. All are equal before Jesus. Jesus loves the poor equally as he loves the rich.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus.

  1. Jesus

    knows everything about you.

Psalm 139:1-5

1Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. 2You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them. 3You know where I go and where I lie down. You know everything I do. 4 Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it. 5You are all around me—in front and in back— and have put your hand on me.

  1. Jesus cares for you.

Psalm 55:22

Cast all you anxiety on him because he cares for you.

  1. Jesus is always on time.

  2. There is a reality to death. Jesus is the Lord over death.

Hebrews 9:27

And it is appointed for man to die once, but after this the judgement.

  1. Jesus is God.