And he said, ‘don’t cry’

It was late afternoon. The middle-eastern sun was still burning the dust underfoot.

Jesus was about to enter the town gate at Nain.

Jesus heard a crowd. People were coming. Crying. Wailing. The crowd was carrying the body of a young man. Next to the body was the dead man’s mother.

She was already a widow.

Losing her husband was unbearable. She’d lost everything. An income. Social standing. Her closest friend.

But now the impossible. Her little boy - her only joy - had died.


When Jesus saw her, “his heart went out to her.” So he whispered just two words which would change everything about everything for her.

Don’t cry (Luke 7:13).

This isn’t a command against tears (John 11:35).  It's the heart-felt utterance of a father heart-broken to witness his daughter’s pain.

Don’t cry.

Just two whispered words which reveal God’s compassion. Words which expose his heart toward people. Insignificant people, from the middle of nowhere.

Don’t cry.

These two words of love show us the Lord’s desperation over this world where children are killed, homes are destroyed and people despair.


Desperate but not unable, Jesus does what any father would wish they could:

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. (Luke 7:14)

Jesus’ compassion drove him to action – the same compassion that drove him to the cross to establish a new world for the broken, the lame and the crippled (Luke 14:13).

If you’re a Christian, you’re on your way there. But while you wait, Jesus looks at you and your pain. And like a Father, he desperately – compassionately – is moved to say the same.  

Don’t cry, my child.