What would first-century Jews have thought when they saw a man heal cripples and still storms? The Miracles of Jesus explains the cultural relevance, and the deeper Biblical meaning, behind Jesus's works.
It's a captivating story - Jesus interrupting a funeral cortège to bring the deceased back to life. It isn't hard to picture the scene: the distraught mother weeping and wailing, supported by friends on either side; the confusion and unease as this stranger Jesus approaches the coffin, telling the mother not to cry; the shock and sheer incredulity of the crowd as the boy sits up in his coffin and talks; the boy himself, blinking in the daylight.
But what are we to make of it? Maybe Jesus really did bring the boy back from the dead. Or perhaps the boy wasn't dead in the first place, merely in a coma. There will never be an answer to satisfy everyone. To those people who saw it happen there was no doubt - Jesus had brought the widow's son back to life. A pretty astonishing thing to witness. No wonder they were 'filled with awe'.
But the triumph of life over death was not what really got the crowd going. If you look closely at the biblical account you find that this miracle reminded them of another miracle that took place a thousand years earlier, performed by one of the holiest men in Jewish history - the prophet Elijah. In fact, it more than reminded them. The symmetry was unmistakable.