“The Wonderful City of Nain”

BIBLE READING: Matthew 8. 1-13, Luke 7
                About twenty-five miles southwest of the city of Capernaum lies the lovely city of Nain.  In most cases in those days’ cities received their name based on what the land looked like. If that is the case here, then the city of Nain must have been a very peaceful city because the word “Nain” means “green pastures”.  Just the thought of that imagine brings to mind David’s 23 psalm “The Lord is my Shepherd…”, doesn’t it?  Surprisingly, there isn’t much said in Scripture about the city.  In fact, the only time it is mentioned is in Luke 7.11.  This passage tells the story of how Jesus was passing through the city and is met by some sort of funeral processional.   This must have been a well-known man from the Nain community because the Bible records that a considerable crowd from the town was following this processional.  As they pass Jesus carrying the body of the man that had died, Jesus notices his mother.  Jesus immediately felt compassion on the woman because He knew that she had not only lost her son but had lost her husband some time before making her a widow.  His compassion for this woman compels Him to reveal His power to her and the crowd that follows.  “Do not weep.” He said, then turning to the dead man He said, “Young man I say to you, arise.” The young man that had died “sat up, and began to speak” (Luke 7.14, 15).  As you can imagine, fear seized all of those who were witnesses of this miraculous event.  Now remember, this event happens early in the ministry of Jesus.  He had performed some miracles in the presence of His followers but nothing like this.  Of course, the natural reaction began as fear, but quickly turned to praise because now they began to understand the concept of Emmanuel (“God with us”) that had been prophesied by Isaiah concerning the coming of the Messiah.  Notice the last thing that is recorded of what the crowd said, “God has visited His people” (Luke 7.16).  And here I thought being known for having green pastures was great, now the city of Nain becomes the place of one of the greatest miracles that Jesus preformed.  Not only that, but it also becomes the place where a city recognizes that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.
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