Young Man, Get up!

by LA UBF   05/14/2005     0 reads


Young Man, Get Up��

 Young Man, Get Up!

Luke 7:11-17

Key Verse 7:14

1. Verses 11 and 12 describe two processions converging from two opposite directions - one led by Jesus and the other by a coffin. What does the name "Jesus" mean? What does the coffin remind us of? In what respect are the two processions different? 

2. Put yourself in the shoes of the woman described in verse 12, and consider the way the Lord related himself to her (v13).  What do the following expressions tell us about the Lord? 1) …the Lord 'saw' her; 2) his heart went out to her; and 3) he said, "Don't cry." 

3. Think about what Jesus did in verse 14a. What do the following statements tell us about Jesus and the life that follows him? 1) …he went up and 'touched' the coffin; and 2) those carrying it stood still. 

4. Consider what Jesus said to the dead man inside the coffin (v14b). What do the following words of Jesus mean to you? 1) Young man; 2) I say to you; and 3) get up! 

5. Verses 15-17 describe what Jesus did for the dead man and his mother, and the way people responded to the miracle. What message(s) does this miracle convey to the young people of this generation? To the parents? To the people of our day in general?




  Young Man, Get Up!

Luke 7:11-17

Key Verse 7:14

"Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!""

Today we would like to think about what Jesus can mean to the youth and their parents of this generation. 

First, the Lord saw her.

Look at verse 11. "Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him." 

The leading phrase, "Soon afterward", refers us back to the miracle Jesus performed in Capernaum where Jesus healed the Centurion's servant who was about to die. Jesus is the Savior of all people on earth. He came to save not only the Jews but also the Gentiles. The Roman Centurion was a Gentile. Perhaps his servant was also a Gentile. By healing a heathen slave belonging to a heathen soldier, and by blessing the faith of the Roman Centurion Jesus brought God's salvation to the world of the Gentiles. 

Jesus then went to a town called Nain. Nain is on the northern slope of the Ancient Hill of Moreh (Judges 7:1) about 25 miles South East of Capernaum, about six miles South East of Nazareth and is still called Nain today. Today there is a small sanctuary called "The Place of Our Lord Jesus" which commemorates his visit. 

The distance between Capernaum and Nain was about the same as the distance between Long Beach and Downtown Los Angeles. If one left Capernaum early in the morning, it was not difficult to reach Nain before evening. This little town is located in the land of Issachar - the 9th son of Jacob, the fifth of Leah, who was born of Leah's maidservant. The fact that Jesus "bothered" to visit the small town of Nain, located in the land of Issachar, indicates that Jesus is not only the Savior of the whole world, but also the Savior of everyone living in every small village and town on the planet earth. It shows us Jesus' due diligence in reaching out to the unreachable. It has been said, "Think globally, but act locally." In Jesus' day, they did not have the Internet, telephones, or cell phones. So, Jesus noticed that while people in the metropolitan areas such as Capernaum had ample opportunities to hear God's word, people in small towns like Nain did not. So, Jesus went there to preach the gospel. 

And his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. The Bible scholars say that it was spring time. Standing toward the NorthEast of the town of Nain one could see Mt. Tabor. So one could imagine that spring flowers began to blossom. As Solomon sang, the winter was past, the rains were over and gone. Flowers appeared on the earth; the season of singing came, the cooing of doves could be heard in the land. However, the journey was not easy. Yet one-step after another they finally reached the town gate. By the time they reached the town, already Jesus' disciples became excited. Already Andrew began to think about how to come up with the dinner for the company. So, as the town gate came into view, he brought up the issue of which restaurant would be good to go to. Simon Peter said, "Carl's Jr." But, Nathanael said, "No. The food over there is fattening. Subway is better." Then, Philip said, "What about In-N-Out? They make better french fries." 

As he approached the town gate, however, they stopped talking about food.  By God's providence, a great opportunity for Jesus to preach the gospel of resurrection presented itself. Instead of a bunch of people coming out to hear Jesus, a dead person came out to greet him. Look at verse 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. And a large crowd from the town was with her." 

Normally when a famous preacher like Billy Graham comes to town, church leaders in the local area come out and greet the preacher. But Jesus’ case, a funeral procession came out to greet him. So, let us stop for a moment and think about the funeral procession. In those days, a funeral orator would proceed in front of the bier proclaiming the good deeds of the dead. Women would come right in front of the dead body. Midrash gives the reason: "Woman introduced death into the world." [So to them, "Ladies First" has a different meaning.] Then came the carriers of the coffin. The body was not carried in the kind of coffin we use in the 21st century. Rather, it was laid on a bier (a bed) or in an open coffin (called a Mitah). The commoners especially the poor made Mitah’s out of twigs from trees such as the willow tree. Commonly, the face of the dead remained uncovered. The body would lay face up, with the hands folded on the chest. When a person had died as unmarried or childless, it was customary to put something distinctive of that person such as his pen or a key into the coffin. They put the basket containing the body on a carrier with two wooden poles which provided the pall bearers with handles. Friends or neighbors carried the dead body sharing burdens in doing good works. Behind the bier walked relatives, friends, and a sympathizing multitude. Frequently, there would be intervals in order for the people to get relief.  The bearers would pause, and then during these pauses, there were loud lamentations. 

Imagine the funeral procession greeting Jesus - the procession with a dead body leading the way, along with lamentations, wild chants of mourning women, accompanied by flutes and the melancholy tinkle of cymbals, amidst expressions of general sympathy. 

Standing in strong contrast with this procession is another stream, led by the Prince of Life. Here they met: lift and death. The connecting link was the deep sorrow of a widowed mother. 

How did Jesus respond to the scene? Look at verse 13a, "When the Lord saw her..." He recognized her but she did not recognize him. Here the word "saw" has the meaning of "full understanding." On "seeing" her, Jesus fully understood what was going on with her. But she did not recognize Jesus. She did not know who was coming to greet her and her dead son. Maybe she was only thinking about herself, her own son, and maybe her husband who had died, and had remained dead for long time now. Maybe she was thinking about what her life would be like without her son. After the burial, she would have to go back home. After going back home, she would have to go and see the empty bed that used to belong to her only son? She lived in the Bible belt. She was a member of the Israelites - the chosen people who believed in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Is this God still the God of a poor widow like her? Yes. God blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yes. God is the God of blessings, for he said to Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." But why this misery? Why this disaster? Why did God make her life so miserable? In this way, soaked in her sorrow, she was not able to recognize who was standing in front of her. But, Jesus "saw" her. 

Second, his heart went out to her.

Heart is the essence of a man. The expression, "his heart went out to her" especially the word "heart" indicates that Jesus felt exactly the same pain and sorrow as she felt. 

Many people, especially those coming from broken families, say, "No one understands me." But at one of the most sorrowful moments of her life, Jesus made a visit to her place. And his "heart" went out to her. On many occasions, we think that we are all by ourselves, struggling with all the problems we have. Then we entertain all kinds of negative thoughts about God and about everyone around us. And we indulge ourselves in pity-parties. But consider what happened to Jesus on seeing the poor mother. His heart "went out to her". 

Third, he said, "Don't cry."

Ecclesiastes 7:2 reads, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart." Romans 12:15 also says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." So when we go to a house of mourning, we are called to mourn together with those who mourn. But, no one can truly say to those who mourn, "Don't cry." Who but Jesus can say, "Don't cry"?

The command, "Don't cry" is not empty words. It is the invitation to the life which is filled with joy. Jesus said, "Don't cry" in order to gently uplift her aching soul from the sea of sorrow, so that as she overcomes the dark powers of sorrowful feelings, her heart would be lightened up. Then she could consider lifting up her eyes and look at Jesus who says to her, "Don't cry." The exhortation "Don't cry" then is the call for her to turn her attention from the power of death to the power of life that works in and through Jesus. 

Fourth, he went up and touched the coffin.

As Jesus said, "Don't cry", at first she could not stop crying. On many occasions, when one is asked not to cry, he or she cries louder. Perhaps this must have happened. But still, Jesus gave her the time to consider His words. Then there were moments of quietness. Jesus remained quiet. All became quiet. The mother stopped crying. She grew calm. She lifted up her eyes and began to give to Jesus a steady gaze. Then in her full view, and as the multitude of people were watching, Jesus started moving. He went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still.

Ezekiel 44:25 reads, "'A priest must not defile himself by going near a dead person; however, if the dead person was his father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister, then he may defile himself." Let us combine this passage with what Jesus did. The conclusion we get out of this comparison is that Jesus is our true high priest who chose to defile himself by touching the coffin, because he came to identify himself with us as members of his family! 

In addition, the expression, "those carrying it stood still" indicates that Jesus is the supreme commander of life and death. In his presence, grief and death cannot continue. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, "as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." As this passage says, Jesus came to reverse the sorrowful procession of death into a joyful procession of life! Jesus came to swallow up death, just as Aaron's staff swallowed up the staffs thrown down by the magicians hired by Mr. Pharaoh, the symbol of Satan, the prince of this world. Exodus 7:12

Fifth, he said, "Young man!"

How then does Jesus reverse the stream of death into the river of life? Look at v. 14. "He said, 'Young man, I say to you, get up!" Jesus did not ask the mother or people around, "How old was the man lying down in the coffin?" Yet he said to the dead person, "Young man!" Jesus could have said, "Man, get up." But Jesus bothered to add the word "young". Why? The answer is obvious. Jesus wanted to say to the man that a young man as young as he was not supposed to lie down dead in a coffin. Why? The word "young" answers the question. What does "young" mean? The word "young" means what "old" is not. And it is symbolic of life which is filled with vigor. It has been said, "Age is the best possible fire-extinguisher for flaming youth." This line indicates that it is young people who have the "fire" to do something great!  Jesus then called the dead person, "Young man" to remind him of the great work he could accomplish in his youth, for in human history, it is through the youth that God fulfilled great works.  

For example, Victor Hugo wrote a great novel called Les Miserables (also known as the Tragedy) at the age of 15, and received three prizes at the Academy and the title of Master before he was 20. Pascal wrote a great work at 18. Joan of Arc did all her work and was burned at the stake at 19. John Calvin joined the Reformation at 23 and wrote the Institutes of Christianity at 27. Alexander the Great conquered the world at the age of 23. Isaac Newton was 24 when he formulated the Law of Gravity. Francis of Assissi was 25 when he founded the Franciscan Order. Whitefield was a student with Wesley at Oxford and had made his influence felt throughout England at 24. At age 27 Napoleon conquered Italy, and was recognized as the foremost commander of his age. 

Likewise, God gave the man youth to enable him to do what is truly great. Reminding him of the great asset God endowed him with, Jesus called the man "young man." 

Sixth, I say to you.

Look at what Jesus said to the man further. "I say to you!" The Bible records a number of incidents in which servants of God brought dead people back to life. Elijah is one, Elisha is another, and the Apostle Peter is still another. In the four gospels, we also find other miracles Jesus performed in bringing the dead back to life. For example, on one occasion, Jesus raised the daughter of a father back to life. On another occasion, Jesus raised Lazarus back to life for his two sisters. But the way Jesus brought the man back to life is very different from all these cases. How so? In Lazarus’ case for example Jesus said, "Lazarus, come out!" But in the case of this young man, Jesus added something different: "I say to you." 

Why? Again we find an answer to this question from what Jesus says, that is, Jesus wanted the young man to "hear" what Jesus says! Say, "Young men must hear Jesus' words!" 

It has been reported that the young people of the United States squander over ten billion dollars a year on games and chance. This means that they spend little time to hear about Jesus Christ, but rather spend too much time, energy, and money on that which is not productive. 

It has been noted that young folks of today have the disadvantage of having too many advantages. The prayer of modern youth seems to be, "Lord, lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is and we will find it." According to one person's observation, "Getting the baby to sleep is most difficult when she is 18 years old." It was also observed that today's youth has very special problems - like the girl who lost one of her contact lenses in her boyfriend's beard. 

Surely we have lots of problems with young people. The crisis of the youth of this generation is so horrible that there came out a line that says, "Just a glance at [the youth of] this generation makes us realize that we are living in hair-raising times." 

Perhaps it was no different with the youth of Jesus' generation. Knowing what they needed, Jesus said to the man, "Young man, I say to you..." Surely, young men need God's word. They say that young folks are those who do not know what they do not know. But when you think that the youth of our generation do not know anything, you make a great mistake, for it was observed and said, "In this life the old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, and the young know everything." But when they do not study the Bible thoroughly, they do not know anything about Jesus, nor about the meaning, purpose, and direction of true life. Knowing the need for their spiritual discipline then it has been said,  "What young kids need today is lots of LSD - love, security, and discipline." How can one get the kind of discipline they need? It is only through the living word of God for 2 Timothy 3:16-17 say, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."  

This is particularly important because it is when young that one can absorb God's word and develop faith in the Lord better. This is true with one statistic published by a pastor. "Nineteen out of every twenty who become Christians do so before they reach the age of 25. After 25, only one in 10,000. After 35, only one in 50,000. After 45, only one in 300,000. After 55, only one in 400,000. After sixty five, only one in 500,000. After 65, only one  in 700,000."  

Seventh, Get up! 

Finally, Jesus said to the young man, "Get up!" Why did say to him "Get up!" Probably it was because this man used to lie down and sleep too much. And he went back to sleep for good too early. So, the remedy to him was "Get up!" 

What happened to him them? Look at verse 15a. "The dead man sat up and began to talk." As if he woke from a long sleep, he sat up and began to talk. Mom! Where am I? Who are these people around  me? Who is the man saying, "Young man, get up?" 

This passage says that Jesus' word has the power to help young men get up, walk, run, and then even soar like eagles. Jesus' word has power to invigorate. 

During my young adulthood, I used to live like a zombie. At the age of 19, I could not find any meaning of life. So I wanted to become a buddhist monk. But, by God's grace, one friend of mine invited me to UBF for a Bible study. God's word especially the two words Genesis 1:31, "It was very good" and Romans 1:5, "For his name's sake" gave me new meaning, purpose, and direction of life, so now I’m still living as a missionary, not as a zombie. 

How did this miracle affect the people standing around them? Look at verses 15b-17. It affected the two groups of people in two ways: first, Jesus gave the lost son back to the widowed mother. This indicates that faith in Jesus is the key to saving the youth in the family. Second, people came to see God in Jesus. God has come to help his people. Notice the word "God". Jesus is not just one of the prophets. He is God in the flesh. Even the way Jesus raised the dead to life proves his deity. Unlike Elijah, Elisha, or Peter, there was no agitation, no wrinkles whatsoever in raising a dead person back to life. All he had to do was just say the word, and a miracle happened. 

In conclusion, let us read the key verse, "Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!"" It has been said that the worst danger confronting the youth of this generation is the bad example set by the older generation. But we should not lose hope. At home, in our church fellowships, let us pray to come to Jesus, study His word, and teach the Bible first to ourselves, then to the growing generation. Then God will produce powerful leaders from among the growing generation.

One word: Young man, I say to you, get up!



Young Man, Get Up��

 Young Man, Get Up!

Luke 7:11-17

Key Verse 7:14

This passage teaches us how we can help the young people of this generation rise and work powerfully for the work God has in mind for them.

1. Verses 11and 12 describe two processions converging from two opposite directions - one led by Jesus and the other by a coffin. What does the name "Jesus" mean? What does the coffin remind us of? In what respect are the two processions different?

** Jesus means the one who saves his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 

** A coffin is symbolic of the fruit of man sinning. Romans 3:23. Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 6:23a; Heb 9:27 

** The former is characterized by Jesus who is the source of life, whereas the latter by a coffin which is symbolic of death and thereafter eternal condemnation. This reminds us of what Paul says in 1Co 15:22.  From a biblical standpoint the two processions are identical with the two processions described in 1Co 15:22. 

2. Put yourself in the shoes of the woman described in verse 12, and consider the way the Lord related himself to her.  What do the following expressions tell us about the Lord?

1) …the Lord 'saw' her; 2) his heart went out to her; and 3) he said, "Don't cry." 

** Jesus sees each person’s misery. Remember that God is never indifferent to the problems we have in life. So we must bring our problems to Him asking for his help.

** The expression “his heart” went out to her, suggests that Jesus is God in flesh, so having put on the same flesh as ours, Jesus felt exactly the same pains/sorrows as the woman did. The Bible says that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. The same Jesus works as the high priest for us who is sympathetic with the conditions we are in. Because he is working with us, praying on our behalf, we are encouraged to approach the throne of God’s grace with confidence, as Hebrews 4:15 and 16 exhort us to do. 

** “Don’t cry” indicates that in the Lord we have all the reasons to no longer become wimpy but rather rejoice in all circumstances. And he gives us the joy of life, not just as a matter of make-belief, but as a reality for in Him, we are empowered to overcome all that makes us despair and cry. 

3. Think about what Jesus did in verse 14a. What do the following statements tell us about Jesus and the life that follows him? 1) …he went up and 'touched' the coffin; and 2) those carrying it stood still. 

** Jesus is positive in fighting against the power of sin and death. So Jesus “went up” towards the coffin approaching. 

** The word “touched” also tells us that Jesus is God of love who is in “contact” with the one whom he loves. And he “touches” upon the sorest, most painful part of our life, including the coffin. 

** Where Jesus’ life touches, the procession of death must stand still, so that the power of his life reverses the procession, changing the procession heading towards eternal death to eternal life. 

4. Consider what Jesus said to the dead man inside the coffin. What do the following words of Jesus mean to you? 1) Young man; 2) I say to you; and 3) get up! 

** The word “young” reminds me of the truth that in Jesus there is no such a thing as getting “old”, for if anyone is in Jesus he is already a new creation. So “young man” indicates that in Jesus I have all the vigor of life that makes me stay young, and grow powerful, going from glory to glory. Isaiah 40:31

** I say to you: it reminds me of two things - 1) the power of Jesus’ word; 2) the need for me to hear Jesus’ word, and internalize personally by faith in His word. 

** “Get up!” - this means I need to get out of my coffin, and  rise up according to God’s word. My “coffin” represents all that have been made dead. The command “get up” then is the first step I need to take, towards “walking”, and then even “soaring”. It points to the life that moves upward, doing God’s work, even suffering to the point of death, becoming like Jesus, and thereby attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

5. Verses 15-17 describe what Jesus did for the dead man and his mother, and the way people responded to the miracle. What message(s) does this miracle convey to the young people of this generation? To the parents? To the people of our day in general?

** Young people of this generation need to listen to Jesus’ voice to overcome their unfruitful condition. Then they can fulfill the potential given to them by God. Modern day’s technological advancement caused a lot of young people to be like zombies.

  ADVANCE \d 5

[A zombie is a dead person that is brought back to life through a curse (voodoo, necromancy) or a mutation and has recovered some vital functions like movement.  They are near-mindless, possessing little reasoning power, though many can perform "remembered behaviors" from their mortal existence. Zombies are omnipresent in the folklore of Haïti, where they are created by voodoo, an African type of black magic/witchcraft. More recently, zombie films have exposed new theories according to which man-made viruses or genetic experiments are held responsible for the creation of zombies. Such films put a strong emphasis on flesh and blood, rotting bodies and their attendant maggots, as well as the still-warm gore resulting from savage, often cannibalistic attacks upon the living. Some zombies have the appearance of the living but their lack of free will and souls give them the appearance of mechanical robots. Others display visible signs of desiccation, decay and emaciation on their faces and bodies. They have a blank, expressionless faces that become more animated when they get hungry and engage in a feeding frenzy. They are incapable of speech, but often tend to make moaning and guttural sounds. They are normally encountered wearing whatever clothing they wore in their human life, prior to reanimation.]

** It has been said, “Like parents, like children” or “Like father, like son” or “Like mother like daughter” etc. and so forth. So it is the parents who must first repent and believe in Jesus, that their children would learn what it is to live by faith in the Lord. We cannot blame children alone for their problems, for it is parents who are called to take care of them, at least in their early young adulthood.


** The people of this world are all responsible for the growing population, for in order for a young man to grow strong, the whole town, city, nation, and yes the whole world must come together, to create an environment in which the youths of the generation would grow strong. 

The end