Reblogged from Utah Lutheranby Rev. Bror Erickson
[COMPENDIUM: This is a wonderful promise for us!]
Luke 7:11-17 (ESV)
Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him.  As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.  Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”  And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
The only son of his mother. The greek once again has monogenes, which elsewhere is translated only begotten in reference to Jesus. Begotten doesn’t quite work here, as that usually refers to the Father’s act in procreation. The idea is this mother only had one son of here generation. Which is more truly what the word monogenes means, only generated. Meaning she could have had children that were adopted or what not. This was her only son. It is important to the narrative.
Children were your social security in these days. The more children you had the better off you’d be when you were too old to work. And yes people got to the point where they were too old to work, even in these days. Her son dying, leaves her destitute. Now she has no son, and no husband.