Luke 7:14

ESV Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
NIV Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, 'Young man, I say to you, get up!'
NASB And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, 'Young man, I say to you, arise!'
CSB Then he came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And he said, "Young man, I tell you, get up! "
NLT Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. 'Young man,' he said, 'I tell you, get up.'
KJV And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

What does Luke 7:14 mean?

The only son of a widow has died. Jesus meets the funeral procession and decides to do something about it (Luke 7:12–13).

The evening of the day of the death, the dead would be washed, anointed, and dressed in their own clothes or wrapped in a cloth. The body would be placed on a bier or plank and carried to the burial site where it would stay for a year until only the bones remained. Then the bones would be buried in a stone box made specifically for that purpose.

Jesus first comforts the mother (Luke 7:13) and then touches the bier. Doing so would make a person ritually unclean. Many Bible scholars believe that as God, Jesus cannot be unclean. This is because He has the power and authority to cleanse what is unclean.

However, this assumption seems to miss important aspects of ritual cleanness. "Unclean" does not mean sinful. Nor is uncleanness always avoidable: menstrual cycles (Leviticus 15:19–23), removing dead animals (Leviticus 11:8), and some physical ailments (Leviticus 13:1–3; 15:1–12) made people unclean. Even blessed things like having sex (Leviticus 15:16–18) or giving birth made people unclean (Leviticus 12:1–5). Jesus' birth made Mary unclean (Luke 2:22). And Jesus' burial made Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus unclean (Numbers 19:11; John 19:38–40). Uncleanness is used as metaphor for sin, but ritual purity is not exactly identical to righteousness.

Becoming ceremonially unclean would bear no effect on Jesus' deity and holiness. He would not be sinning by doing something which would then require ritual cleansing, so long as He didn't enter the temple until the cleansing was complete. Voluntarily becoming unclean for the sake of the son would go even further in showing compassion to the woman.

This is the first time in Luke that Jesus raises the dead; Jairus' daughter is next (Luke 8:40–42, 49–56). In both cases, Jesus tells them "arise." Though Jesus' raising of the widow's son resembles what Elijah and Elisha experienced, there is a significant difference. Elijah begged God for healing and stretched himself on the boy three times (1 Kings 17:19–21). Elisha had his servant lay his staff on the Shunamite's son and then, when that didn't work, stretched out on him (2 Kings 4:29–35). Jesus' power is much greater. As He spoke creation into being, so He speaks life into the widow's son.
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