The Widow's Son Raised from the Dead
TEXT: Luke 7:11-16
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to tell that Jesus had compassion for the widow whose son had died. They can explain that since Jesus created life, He can restore life—He is life!
- memory verse
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. — John 1:4
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Draw a simple circle face on your chalkboard, making the eyes wide and the mouth a round O of surprise. Ask your students why they think the man looks this way. It is because he is surprised! He just saw something happen that was so amazing! And that is what the Bible story for today is all about.
- The only son of a widow of Nain was being carried out for burial when Jesus came to the city gate.
- When Jesus saw the widow He had compassion and said, "Weep not."
- Jesus touched the bier and said to the dead man, "Arise." The young man sat up, talked, and was delivered to his mother.
Climax: The people glorified God when they saw the dead man restored to life.
Conclusion: Jesus had compassion on the grief-stricken widow and restored her dead son to life. Today Christ is still performing mighty miracles.
Response: The students can tell of the love and compassion of Jesus for the dead boy's mother. They will be able to explain that, if He chooses to, Jesus is able to restore life because He is the Creator of life.
- background information
When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, man had the opportunity to live forever. God had told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." However, man disobeyed God and was driven out of the Garden and away from the tree of life. Since that time, with the exception of Enoch and Elijah, all mankind have left this world by the way of death.
The raising of the widow's son was not the first time that is recorded of one's being raised from the dead. In 1 Kings 17:17-24 we read how Elijah prayed that life would be restored to a small boy and God answered his prayer. Elisha prayed for the son of the Shunammite woman and the Lord restored him to life (2 Kings 4:18-37). One interesting restoration to life occurred when a body was hastily put in Elisha's sepulchre and as it touched Elisha's bones it revived (2 Kings 13:21). God certainly honored His prophet Elisha!
Jesus had also raised a young girl who had died, Jairus' daughter. Later He raised Lazarus from the grave. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life." We can be assured that if we remain faithful to the Lord, we will be resurrected or translated when Jesus comes for His own!
- in-class activities
- Give each child the fold-out picture which shows the widow's son lying in his casket, with Jesus and a crowd of people all around (see Patterns). Help the children fold the picture on the proper lines so that the widow's son can stand up when Jesus says, "Arise!"
- Copy one Jesus Is Life tree for each child (see Patterns). Have the construction paper leaves cut out before class time begins. Help the children glue or tape on the leaves and then try to say their memory verse. They may lift up the clumps of leaves to check their verse.
- Bring a posterboard covered with the following sets of pictures: A funeral—a picture depicting creation; a sick person—a healthy person; a picture of Calvary—person praying. As you tell the story, explain that God created life (creation), that it is appointed unto man once to die (funeral). He created our bodies (healthy), He is also able to heal (sick). But the greatest gift He gave us was His life (Calvary). If we will simply pray an honest prayer (person praying) He will give us eternal life.
- Enlarge and color the set of four pictures which show this story in its proper sequence (see Patterns). Use them as you tell the story. After you are through telling the story to your class, lay these pictures at random on your table. Have the children put them in the proper order and tell you what happened in each one.
- What had happened to the widow's son?
- Where were they taking him?
- What did Jesus do when He came to the widow's son?
- Why could Jesus give life to the dead man?
- Tell about a time that Jesus answered your prayers.
- Should we be afraid of death? Talk about how life and death are in God's hands.
- How can Jesus take our sadness and turn it into joy?
- How do you think Jesus felt when He saw the sad mother and the friends who were with her?
- Why did Jesus bring the man back to life when no one even asked Him to?
- How does Jesus know what we are feeling?
- Does He care only about big hurts? What about small problems?
- Is anything too big for Jesus? Is anything too small for Him to take care of? Would He ever feel like we are bothering Him?
- pre-school suggestions
- For each child, make a set of finger puppets of Jesus, the widow, her son, and two other people who were in the crowd (see Patterns). Instruct the children to put the son on their thumb, Jesus on their pointer finger and the widow and other two people on the other fingers. They should hold their thumb down on their palm while the boy is dead and raise it up with the other fingers after Jesus says, "Arise!"
- Cut out pictures from magazines of mothers and their children—well and sick. Talk about how mothers love their children and want to make sure they are healthy. If they become sick, the mother will do everything she can to help them get well again (show bandaids and facial tissues). They don't like their children to feel bad. Ask them if they can imagine how sad the mother felt when her son died. What about when she saw him alive again? Do you think she loved Jesus and thanked Him for giving her son life again?
- Make a flip-sided stick puppet of the widow for each child (see Patterns). Have them hold up the sad side when the widow is sad and the happy side when the widow is happy.
- review ideas
Have eleven large-sized hearts (approximately 8" x 10") made out of posterboard. On one side of each heart have a question relating to today's lesson. On the other side have it labeled with one of the letters from J-E-S-U-S I-S L-I-F-E. Mix up the hearts and let a volunteer come up and pick one. If he can answer the question, he can stay up, holding the letter side facing the audience. When you are all finished, make sure the letters are in the order to read, "Jesus Is Life."
Have another teacher make something out of clay in front of the children and then give it to you. After the teacher leaves, accidentally (on purpose) damage a part of it. Act distressed. Ask several teachers if they can fix it for you. Have them try but only mess it up even more. Ask the children if they think maybe the teacher that made it would be the best one to take it to. Have that teacher come up and ask him to please fix what you have damaged. After he fixes it, tell the children that this reminds you of when Jesus gave life to the widow's son who had died. It was easy for Jesus to do that because Jesus created everything in the first place!