He stepped forward and touched the coffin. 

Caught doing something nice.   So read the words on an award that teachers like to present to their students—an award given in the hope that the act of kindness being rewarded was a natural, rather than a solicited, response.   This way of recognizing ordinary acts of unselfishness also helps reinforce in the students the truth that acts of compassion are always rewarded.

It is hard to imagine Jesus needing a sticker to remind him how important it is to be kind and generous.   Seeing a widow grieving at her only son’s funeral, he was moved with a pity that came from heartfelt mercy.   Jesus felt this mother’s sorrow through his very being, and just as he would bring us to new life through his resurrection, so he brought her son back to life.   She did not expect or even request such kindness, but he gave it anyway—just as he saved us by his death before it dawned on any of us to ask him.

It is amazing, but true.   Jesus has taken the initiative to reveal his love to us.   As we accept this love, we find ourselves wanting to turn to him for wisdom and help in our everyday situations.   Without expecting him to prove himself, we begin to trust that he will turn our sorrow into joy—according to his wisdom and his timing.   We begin to believe that he will take the areas of our lives that are “dead” and bring healing and renewed life to them.

Think about just one time in your life when you received Jesus’ mercy without expecting it.   It could be anything from having someone smile at you when you were feeling down to having a close friend to whom you could pour out your heart.   Let this memory reassure you that Jesus is on your side regardless of your level of faith.   He is always with you, ready to reveal his Father’s love for you.   He loves being “caught doing something nice.”

word among us