Widow's son at Nain


Soon afterwards Jesus “went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him.  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…” (NRSV, Luke 7:11,12)

The widow at Nain had once counted herself a fortunate woman.  She lived in one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Palestine.  Indeed, the very word Nain means beautiful or pleasant.  And well the village deserved it.  It snuggled in a cosy, green nest on the north-western slope of a mountain in Galilee, and commanded a sweeping and magnificent view.

Six miles to the north, on the other side of a broad valley, stands the hill of Nazareth and beyond that the country is seen to grow more and more mountainous until it reaches its climax in the vast snowy range of Mount Hermon which dominates the lofty skyline 120 miles away.  Round to the left – to the north-west and west – there stretches at one’s feet the green and fertile Plain of Esdraelon, the battleground of centuries, bright in the spring with wild flowers, until it ends, 18 miles away, in the white, precipitous ridge of Mount Carmel.  And, as one looks from Nain, to the right of Carmel, there is a gleam of blue on the horizon – the blue of the Mediterranean.

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