The readings for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost are: Psalm 30, 1 Kings 17:17-24, Galatians 1:11-24, Luke 7:11-17. This Sunday gives us a good example of how an Old Testament reading can help us more fully understand and appreciate a New Testament reading.
In both 1 Kings and Luke, a man representing God brings back to life the only son of a poor widow. Both miracles remind us of the great compassion of God particularly for those who are on the “lowest rungs” of life. They also remind us of the great power of God to raise the dead, an act that trumps the laws of nature and reverses the effects of sin. But the more particular takeaway message in Luke’s miracle account is that Jesus is a prophet – like Elijah, only greater. When he speaks, things happen!
Our voices don’t have the power of Jesus. Sometimes we speak, but nobody listens. Sometimes we speak, and instead of helping we only do more damage. Can you think of a time when your words failed to produce their intended effect? What comfort there is in knowing that Jesus can raise the dead, and with just a Word! This is true not only for people who are dead, but also relationships that have grown cold. God’s Word applied to our broken lives has power to restore and heal…and even resurrect!