Week of the Sunday after Epiphany – Friday
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. – Isaiah 25:8.
On the day after the event of yesterday’s lesson, Jesus went into the city of Nain, seven or eight hours’ walk from Capernaum. And many of His disciples went with Him, and a great multitude.
Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and many people of the city were with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said unto her: “Weep not.” And He came nigh and touched the bier [the casket]; and the bearers stood still. And He said: “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” And he that was dead sat up and began to speak. And He gave him unto his mother (Luke 7:11-15).
This is a picture of now and hereafter. Now death reigns; it is the wages of sin. It swallows up young and old. How much misery and grief does it cause! But the Lord, whose glory you behold in this story, your Savior, who conquered sin and death, shall one day come again and oppose Death.
Jesus Himself, in John 5, declared: “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth” (vv. 28-29a). He will say to all His believers on His right hand: “Come, ye blessed of My Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
As one of God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus, this is your sure and joyful hope.
PRAYER – Omnipotent Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Thou Conqueror of death, who has compassion on all who mourn because of death, comfort all the sorrowing by the knowledge of Thee and of Thy redemption. We know that Thou art “not slack concerning [Thy] promise, as some men count slackness, but [art] longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Keep us contrite over our sins and ever believing “the Gospel” (Mark 1:15b) until our last day here on earth. Amen.
Savior, I long to walk, closer with Thee;
led by Thy guiding hand, ever to be;
constantly near Thy side, quickened and purified,
living for Him who died, freely for me.
- Hymn 422, stanza 4 (TLH)
Weekly Theme: The Sermon on the Mount
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:43-48
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.