Compassion for Women
As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out - the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he 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!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 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.”
Do you ever wonder if Jesus sees us? Do you ever wonder if Jesus understands how difficult it can be to be a mom? Does Jesus understand that many societies and cultures have left many women vulnerable, disadvantaged, undervalued, and even mistreated?
If you’ve ever wondered if Jesus notices the unique struggles of womanhood, the answer is yes. Not only does He notice, He is compassionate towards women.
In today’s passage, Jesus comes across a dead man being carried out of town. Luke offers these additional details about the dead man: his mother was a widow and he was her only son. That means, not only is this woman absolutely heartbroken over losing her child, as any mother would have been. But as a widow, she likely depended on him as the only one who could provide for her. It was difficult for widows and other single women to find opportunities to make money if they didn’t have family to provide for them.
I love what Luke records here. It says Jesus’ “heart went out to her.” Jesus saw her. He genuinely cared about her loss and understood what that meant for her. So, He raised this young man up and gave him back to his mother.
Another example of Jesus noticing a widow happened in Luke 21:1-4. “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’” Society may have ignored a poor widow, but Jesus did not. He saw her gift. He saw her need. He recognized the sacrifice. And He commended her for it.
There are numerous places in the Bible that put God’s heart for widows on display. For example, Exodus 22:22 says “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.” Deuteronomy 10:18 affirms that He defends the cause of the widow. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” God has always cared for those - women included - who were not able to care for themselves.
Another indicator of the heart of God towards women is found in an unlikely place. In Matthew 24, Jesus explained His future return and provided believers with details of a time when those in Judea have to quickly flee to the mountains to escape. In Matthew 24:19, He specifically mentions that this time will be particularly difficult for women who are pregnant or nursing a baby. These women will be trying to make a speedy escape but will be slowed down by the children that they are desperately trying to protect. Jesus knew what is coming in the future and expressed His concern for these women.
The WORD about women is that Jesus has compassion on women who are in difficult circumstances. If anyone has ever told you that the Bible is proof that God condones the mistreatment of women, don’t believe it for a second. Sisters, Jesus notices and Jesus cares. He is a God of compassion. We can have hope that in Jesus’ Kingdom, the unique trials facing women in this world will be no more.
Are there other passages in the Bible that support the idea that Jesus has compassion on women who are experiencing trials?
Jesus, thank You for loving and caring for both men and women equally and for offering compassion and care to those who are unable to care for themselves. You have shown us your heart for Your people. Help us to follow your example of care and concern to those who have need. Amen.
We look forward to your comments and questions below!