“And when the Lord saw her, His heart was filled with pity for her”
Good morning. It’s great to be with you. All my question for you as we begin is who is tired of talking about politics? Anybody who loves having a break to come to church and worship Christ and not talk about politics? Yes.
Well, you’re going to be somewhat disappointed this morning. Uh, this morning, we’re going to talk about Jesus politics. And the widow of Nane, uh, there’s a outline that you can get this morning for, uh, taking notes. I saw Jared in the lobby and Jared saw the title and said, Oh good. I’m so glad you’re going to tell me who to vote for, which will not be, uh, the subject of my sermon, but want to talk about how to approach this season one, I believe this really matters.
I like a lot of you do a lot of reading right now. Do a lot of watching. Do a lot of researching. Do a lot of looking at scripture, do a lot of looking at current events, do a lot at looking at policies, a lot, looking at candidates. Um, I am sent anywhere from five to 15 different articles or videos or resources, um, from different people that I interact with personally, on all of this stuff.
Um, believe that this season matters two. I believe that Jesus is going to be on the throne all week. Um, that he’s going to be on the same throne he is today. He’ll be on Wednesday or whatever day we figure out when this ultimately ends. As far as this election cycle, there’s something I’ve been looking at the book of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar and Derrius and their interactions with Daniel as they recognize that they are in a powerful Persian.
But temporary kingdom that the kingdoms of man and nations and countries and empires are temporary things. And they often have long life cycles, but they have life cycles. And as these men came into interaction with Daniel’s God and recognized through the miraculous events in Daniel, the who God was, they had this statement as rulers.
They both talk about this kingdom. Would endure forever that Daniel’s, God is a different type of God, his kingdom, a different type of kingdom. It endorsed forever. We rest in that. We sing that this morning. And, and my energy has been in this season. Leading up to looking at our text today has been looking at what were the politics of Jesus’s day?
How did Jesus enter into his political season? How did he interact and speak the timeless enduring kingdom of God into the kingdoms of men during his day? And as always, if you have any concerns, uh, with the things that I say this morning and want to talk more about them, feel free to email pastor firstname.lastname@example.org.
No, I’d love to interact more. Well, I want to draw for you a little wider of a perspective of how Jesus entered into the tumultuous political season of his day, and then focus in on a direct passage and then ask what implications does that with how we interact in ours during the time of Christ. There’s two major political powers, two major political powers.
The first of them is Rome, right? Israel is under Roman. Rule, they are in a sense exiled in their own land. As Rome has now taken over their land. And they’re under the Roman empire, the Roman rule is somewhat oppressive. They are a client kingdom. They have their own government structure underneath Rome, but have parameters under which they can operate and they can’t operate.
They’re called a client kingdom. Rome is one of. Is the parent power of Israel at the time, Rome has a benefit in the sense that they are financially stable. They are secure as secure as any empire is at this time with having, um, the ability to protect the borders of their kingdom. So there is some benefit.
Israel is getting the kingdom of the empire of Rome has deep. Moral abominations, infanticide inside and outside the womb slavery murder for sport permitted, pedophilia, inequitable, taxation, corruption, and abuse of power, and many different types of sexual perversions. The, there is moral. Um, there is moral trouble in the Roman empire and that would definitely be of concern.
Of the Israel, the community of Israel, but Israel again, is somewhat protected in they’re allowed to be their own client kingdom. They have their own King Herod King, uh, is in Jerusalem and he is King over Israel. And we see this even in the interaction of when Christ goes to the cross, it goes up through the Jewish courts and there’s four trials.
For when Jesus ultimately receives the cross, that goes up to the high priest, which would most likely be above the Pharisee sec. Then it goes to the Sadducees who would be the Sanhedrin. Then it goes, ultimately to pilot, pilot sends them back to Herod King of the Jews. Herod sends them back to pilot. You have this interaction, Rome and Israel.
Working together as they try to figure out who’s in charge of which exact thing, but they have two powers Herod over Israel. And Rome obviously ultimately sees her and pilot who’s the prefect over their region. Within the people of Israel. Jesus came as an Israelite. He came amongst the people of Israel.
There are four major. Sex four major groups, four major political parties that most of everyone would align somewhere within these parties. The first and largest of these is the Pharisee party. This doesn’t mean everyone was a priest, but most or many people say about 60,000 strong we’re of the belief that the Pharisee’s position was the right position for Israel.
The Pharisees did not want Roman authority. They wanted spiritual purity and separation from Rome. They were looking for a Messiah to come to politically over, throw Rome from being in charge of Israel. And that ultimately would become the King of Israel, the head of Israel and would in a political sense, lead them.
A way similar to many of the saviors of the old Testament, the Sadducees, the second sec, where people who were, they had some of the same interests as the Pharisees, but they were usually more people of means this is the high financial class. This will be who the Sanhedrin, the governing body over Israel was populated by these, this group of people.
Um, Was, they had less of a spiritual interest. The worst Christian pun we have, right. Is they were sad. You see, because they didn’t believe in the. Resurrection or the miraculous. They actually were more buddy buddy with Rome. They were enjoying the financial benefit and security of Rome. And we’re benefiting from that relationship.
So you have the Pharisees. You have the Sadducees and then you got the hippie group, cause you always got to have a hippie group out there. Right? That’s the scenes. Now, these scenes were out in the caves, out in the desert. They believed in a spiritual purity, somewhat similar to the Pharisees, but they believed in living it out more extreme Lee, the density scrolls, the Qumran caves.
These are the community of the scenes. When John the Baptist comes. Uh, ministering in the wilderness, most likely many, if not, all of his followers were from the group of, uh, scenes who were also waiting for the Messiah. But again, believed in separation and separating themselves as far from Rome as possible and living out in the wilderness.
And lastly, you had the zealots. Now the zealots believed in overthrow of Rome, but they believed in it through physical means. This group of people, um, was often, they were considered terrorists at the time. If you’re from a Roman perspective, they develop little knives that were S uh, S called the S in the Sakari of the zealots develop these little knives where they could come up and, uh, puncture.
The Romans right here to get right past the breastplate and right PA by the shoulder plate. And they would come up to the Romans, often do this in a crowd, and then go back into the crowd. These zealots were trying to overthrow Rome. And in fact, by 78 D had created such an overthrow, bro, that roam came in and eventually, uh, no longer had the client King of Israel tore down the temple and, um, And did any type of Israel reign within the community?
Simon, the zealot was actually one of the disciples of Jesus and an example of people from the zealot community, these factions. Right. The Pharisees, Sadducees, uh, scenes and zealots risked, much to be a part of their group. The Pharisees we know, were extreme in their commitment to the law that not only kept the law, but they said, we’re going to quote unquote, build a fence around the law, meaning we’re not going to get anywhere close to, to possibly violating the law.
And so they actually built more and more rules. In addition to their laws so that they would not violate any extreme amount of commitment to be a Pharisee, to be a sad, you see? Yes. The lot of people were self interested in the sad UC sect, but to be there meant you had to separate yourself from many and most of your own people and risk.
The political, emotional, societal pressure for being a sellout to be in a scene, you are removing yourself from community. Okay. So anyway, you have these different groups of people, these warring factions who give much to sacrifice, to be a part of their beliefs. These people also, of course, because their people are not only holding to their beliefs, but they’re fighting against each other’s beliefs.
There’s a bloody civil war in the first century before this. Um, between the Sadducees and the Pharisees, and it goes on for a long time. And there is, as we said, the zealots were murdering Romans. They were also murdering leaders of other sex of high level Pharisees and Sadducees because they are targeting one another for this belief, uh, scenes are just sitting out there in the caves writing documents.
Assuming everyone else is a sellout. There is a lot of conflict for when Christ come-ons comes onto the scene into this massive collision. Jesus entered with great tension on every side. As he gained in popularity, everyone would be watching this new prophet whose t-shirt is he going to wear? Which tribes will he fight for?
Which hashtag will he use? What side of the aisle will he fall? As he had so much of the attention? Of the people, where would he land and how would he interact? We see directly in our new Testament, people trying to pin down Jesus, right? The Pharisees saying, trying to trick Jesus or understand where he was.
They asked this question or they would bring them a coin. Hey, this is a Roman coin. What do we do with it? This do we give our taxes are not John the Baptist, even when Jesus came as a little confused saying, is this, are you the one or are you not? What exactly? Where do you stand? Where do you fit? All worldly movements are based on common strategy tactics aligning with who is your ally?
And who is your enemy? Both allies and enemies raise energy towards our cause. Allies are a gift because they give strength to the movement. Enemies are a gift because they energize your allies and create enough fear. To keep your allies passionate. There is very little that motivates a human more than defeating a threat.
And so they’re asking who is Jesus’s enemy? Who is Jesus going to align with? And it is into this text. We have this tension and we’re going to read a story and we’re just going to simply walk through the text bit by bit in Luke chapter seven, starting. In verse 11, but as we enter into the text and into this background, I just want to pray
father we’re in trigger space. I know that there’s people here, people online and already it’s where are you going, bud? What are you doing? I just asked we’d be near. Your son, Jesus Christ. And that as we walk through this week and we’re going to hit our pockets of ego and fear and anger and excitement.
May we look as people who are not first red and blue, but are first followers of the Lord King. Jesus Christ may that so embed inside of us, that everything that comes from us. Is of him. We thank you for a chance to learn from your son in Jesus name. Amen. Okay, quickly as we walk through this text, Luke seven starts with these twos words soon afterward we’ll soon after what he, Jesus has just given his big teaching on what the kingdom of God is going to be about.
Matthew five, six. Seven. We see this, we see this in another gospel as well. This teaching is setting forward his, his stance on what his kingdom is going to look like. He’s just given this teaching and done a couple of miracles right before this, before he left for the town of name, which is where he’s going.
He said Capernaum and in Copernum, there is a Centurion, a Roman. Who approaches Jesus. If there’s ever a time to know where Jesus stands with Rome, it’s now the Centurion comes to Jesus and he says, Hey, my servant, my Roman servant is sick. Will you heal him? Jesus spent such a disappointing amount of time for many.
And not condemning or affirming room. He spoke so much about his own kingdom and new ways of love, and often less about how everyone should be afraid of the threats of worldly powers and loss of human status or comforts. And he freely willingly because of the faith of the century and heels. The century and servant, undoubtedly causing lots of questions he packs up.
And then he goes from Capernum to Nane it’s a multiple mile walk, probably would take about eight hours. And it says in the text, um, right then in verse 11, Jesus went to a town called name and his disciples and a large crowd. Went too long with him. So now is a long journey. After having this event with the Centurion, with Rome, to have people walking, communicating, talking, wondering about Jesus and who he is, and he goes to this smaller town.
Eight miles from Capernum as he’s finishing his journey, the J day’s journey in the desert, undoubtedly talking with his disciples. This is a small town. This is a large crowd. Where are we going to get food? Where are we going to get lodging practical concerns of taking his followers through a wilderness?
He’s just coming into town. And as he approached, verse 12 says, as he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out the only son of his mother. And she was a widow. Being a widow at this time, it’s the Texas very clear to say she is a widow isn’t she does not have a husband in that community.
A husband would be responsible to both financially take care of his wife as well as to physically protect her. If that role, if the husband has died, that role goes to the son. This is the. Only son of his mother and the text is clear to demonstrate that this woman would be financially destitute as well as not have, she would be vulnerable, not have the protection that she would need.
And it says a large crowd in verse 12 was with her. So you have a large crowd of more nurse for what this woman has lost and for the loss of a person in their community and a large crowd of excited people trying to talk and see and follow Jesus and give up their lives for this Jesus prophet. And who is he?
We’re figuring that out early on the scene. These two crowds. Collide. And what we have right there in the text is Luke is giving us these verbs to demonstrate how Jesus approaches this situation. First, it says in verse 13 about Jesus’s vision. These two crowds come together. It says when the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her verse 13, when the Lord saw her.
And there’s a giant group of people here, he’s walking with a giant group of people here. They merge at the town gate. And where is Jesus’s vision? When the Lord saw her? His heart went out to her. He knew the crowds were there. But that’s not where he was looking. He knew a lot of people had expectations on him, but that’s not what had his attention.
He knew they were people who could donate to his campaign, food influence, other who could possibly merge these different political parties, or he could take a stand for or against. There’s a lot of energy to figure out who Christ was and all of this tension, he would be aware of. But when the Lord was looking, he saw her, he saw someone in pain, alone and vulnerable next, the text says when he saw her alone and vulnerable, then it says, and he said, not only did he saw, but he spoke and he spoke the kind of words you never expect to hear at a funeral.
And we should never try to emulate it says, and he said, don’t cry. That is not what you want to say in a giant funeral procession. Literally the worst thing you can say to someone grieving is don’t grieve. He says, don’t cry. Can you imagine hearing this stranger to this woman, this man walks up with the crowd of people and says, don’t cry.
Don’t cry. My whole life is ruined. My loves have all died. My future has died. My security has died. Memories and tears are the only things I have left. Don’t cry. These are only words of hope because Jesus would not just say them, but would live them. They are words of reassurance. They are meant to bring healing.
Because they’re words that affirm the fact that he comes to bring life into death. Then the text goes from his vision to what he says to his action, what he does. Right. Next verse, verse 14. Then he went up and touched the beer where they were carrying him on 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. Okay. Here is when Jesus raises the dead for the first time. This miracle is different than other miracles he had done before. This miracle is special. There’s only three people that he will raise from the dead before the father raises him from the dead.
The times that he did so are very intentional. There was a lot of dead people in Israel that he could have raised. There are three times, and this is the first did not happen in Jerusalem. It did not happen in fanfare. It happened. In response to a grief and a need directly in front of him. Imagine those political parties again, man, for the Pharisees would, if he had raised Moses, Oh man.
Now we clear everything up. You know, what, what if he, what if he had gone and raised up Alijah? Uh, what if he had come in and raised up someone that would just fit directly within. One of these communities that could so communicate that maybe he could raise no one to make the sad Jessie’s happy, like, like what he is so many opportunities to connect with his allies, his potential allies by who we would raise.
And he raised a boy who we don’t even know his name, then the response they were filled with awe and praise God. A great prophet has come upon among us. They said, I love this. God has come to help his people. Why is he there? Is he there to win? Is he there? Is he where to triumph? Is he aware to out muscle?
Is he where to gather and to strategically rise. And if we can only get our group to get bigger and expand and tell those people they’re dumb. No they’re dumb. And finally get forward rise, right? No, God has come to help his people. This news about Jesus spread throughout your Judea. And surrounding country.
The legacy of this Messiah was one of downward help. This is the God who has come. They said, God has come to help his people. Very simply from our verbs, we get from Luke his, of his vision of his, what he speaks. And then of what he does by way of practical application, as we enter, as we, we don’t enter the season, we’ve been in this season for a long time politically, number one, look for the eyes of Jesus this week.
Read, get in the gospels, read and love the downward way of Jesus’s compassion for people. And here’s what we need to do first recognize first. Jesus is compassionate for ourselves. My first work, when it comes to all of this political conflict is to remember, Jesus loves me. That may sound really egocentric and really me-centric, but, but here’s the economy of the gospel.
And if there’s anything I say in every sermon, it’s this. If you don’t, if we don’t know the compassion of Christ for ourselves in our situation, in our crisises, in our fears, in our pain, in our ego triggers, in our hopes and our fears in our every days. Then we can not freely give it to others. We cannot give what we don’t have.
The first lesson of the widow of name is not just to take care of widows of names. It’s to recognize we are both the widow and the dead son that we are in need of his compassion towards us. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us this. The first calling of love we learn from first John and everywhere else.
It is not to be earned. Love is not to be borrowed. Love is not even to be copied. Love is from God. And if we don’t get it from him, we don’t have it to give away. So often I am the loudest. Even politically when I’m the most scared. What about my views? What about my rights? What about my family? What about finances?
What about the future of America? What about the future? What about this? What about that? It’s because I’m looking to my own nation to bring answers, to questions of my own sense of security. I’m scared. So a mad, I want everyone to know how dumb they are if they don’t think. Like I do looking into the eyes of Jesus means I know his compassion for me.
And when I know that catch this, I realized I cannot look into the eyes of anyone else and see an enemy. I cannot look into the eyes of anyone else and see an enemy. Jesus came in his teaching that he just gave on the sermon on the Mount. And he’s talking about all these things he says. Okay. All right.
All right. Let me in five chapter five 42 of Matthew, he says, let’s talk about the enemies said that you feel like you got an enemy. You need to pray for them and do good to them because that marks you following my kingdom. So, so if you’re out there talking about those crazy Democrats or those nutso conservatives, what I would say is maybe you’re not looking at humans at people with the compassionate eyes of God.
And we say, well, didn’t Jesus rail against the Pharisees. That’s kind of where we can, like, I heard him say really mad things about the Pharisees real quick. Jesus loved the Pharisees. The second person Jesus raises from the dead is Jaris his daughter. Jarris. This is a religious leader, either a Pharisee or a sad.
You see Jesus does not rail against the Pharisees political perspective or trying to prove them wrong in all ways, what he rails against. Is their pride and their lack of love. These are things, Jesus rails against a lack of compassion. Secondly, we speak his words. We speak like Christ, speak. This, this I think is really important.
Speak the names of people you are called to love and serve. More than just speaking all your policies. And I I’m, I would consider myself political. I’ve got opinions. I’ve got thoughts. I know you do tune. It’s not saying you should not have thoughts or opinions, but if our thoughts and our opinions or our lumping people into these groups or that groups, we speak that more than the names of people we are called to serve right now.
Perhaps we’re more speaking our own words and not the words of Christ to speak to humans. The hope of love of Christ. Um, Jesus, the Pharisees were after Jesus in John chapter seven. And they send their servants to go get Jesus. They’re sending him, go arrest him, shut this guy up. And they go, and they’re going to arrest them in Jesus teaching.
And throughout most of her, about half of chapter seven in John there, they’re like, Oh, we don’t know when to grab him. And then they come back to the Pharisees in verse 42. And, uh, are verse 35 and it says the officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees who said this to him, them, why didn’t you bring up?
Why didn’t you not go get him? And this is what they said. The officers answered. No one ever spoke like this, man, please. Are you speaking differently than other people right now? Is it just you’re grabbing and lobbing grenades or saying those people are this or those people are that, or you speaking the tender, loving words of Christ and the kingdom of hope into the world.
Don’t speak about crazy. Democrats are crazy. Socialists are crazy. Republicans are crazy. Libertarians are crazy, whatever ins do speak crazy, speak the message. That was so crazy to people that they came back and said, I have never heard a person speak like this. It is not the words of men don’t sound like the words of men.
And then lastly joined him in action. No way am I trying to tell you what all the political persuasions that you should be, but I am asking you to let your passions be motivated by compassion that your energy and action be centered and where your citizenship. Most foundationally lies in a secure and beautiful place in the kingdom of God where love and compassion and hope are a part of every actions.
When you come and are faced with situations of pain, as our Christ was all the time. Don’t don’t make your first thing be to inform or to convince or to Dodge and say, listen, I don’t enter all that stuff or to duck, but make our calling to help. Be known as that guy is in his family to be a person of help that woman in her workplace, man, she is just there to help that person is a citizen of their country, but their citizenship is marked by just how much they want to help with a love that is bigger than themselves.
No, but you can be known by what you stand for, but make sure everyone. Can see who you are actively directly helping pray with me. Lord, we enter in tricky times. Triggers, fear. Easiest thing to do right now is the hunker in our groups. And maybe you believe all the others are ignorant or evil. Easiest thing to do is to, to play the tactics of allies and enemies, or just try to get out of there and not play at all.
Grant us the vulnerability and the humility of Jesus that never left compassion. May we be people who hold to our convictions, but may our convictions never enter fear and never leave the kingdom of love. This is so easy for each of us to do. We need you. Jesus. Come calm our souls and remind us no matter what happens, you remain King on Wednesday in your name.
We pray. Amen. We are dismissed.