Luke 7:11-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
11 Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12 As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. 13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” 17 This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
The Gospels seek to answer the question: “Who is Jesus?” This is a question that has been on the lips of people from the first century to the present. Each of the Gospels offers a somewhat different answer to the question; an answer that is fitting for the particular community addressed by the Gospel writer. While the Gospels give an account of Jesus’ teachings, they also give an account of acts of power in which Jesus heals people and in some cases raises them from the dead. Jesus’ words fare better in our modern day than his healing efforts. Remember that Thomas Jefferson took scissors to the “supernatural” parts and left the pithy statements of wisdom. Thus, we become red-letter Christians, with the stuff in black being deemed expendable, largely because the supernatural parts make us uncomfortable. Who wants to look unscientific in an enlightened age? I have no desire to get rid of science. I think it offers us an important voice, but our discomfort may arise because we’ve missed the point of stories like the one in front of us.