The most profound of all the miracles Jesus performed during His earthly ministry are those in which He resurrected someone. The New Testament records three of these resurrection miracles, including the raising of a widow's son, of Jairus' daughter, and of Lazarus. Luke the physician is the only one to record the raising of a widow's son (Luke 7:11-17). It is interesting that each of the three resurrection miracles reports the dead person in a different stage of death from the other instances. When Christ raises Jairus' daughter to life, she is still in the bed where she had died only a few hours earlier. The widow's son lies in an open coffin on his way to his grave when Jesus performs the miracle. Finally, Lazarus is already in the grave and has been dead for four days by the time Christ arrives and raises him from the dead (John 11:39).
The varying length of times they had been dead and yet were still resurrected shows that Christ can raise the dead no matter what. His miraculous power to resurrect is not dependent upon whether a person has just died, has been dead for days, or is already decomposing. The same principle holds true regarding spiritual salvation: God and Christ can save any sinner no matter how old he is, how long he has been a sinner, or how badly he has sinned.
In the account of the resurrection miracle in Luke 7, the young man who has died is the only son of his widowed mother (verse 12). His death is twice as traumatic for the woman because she is now sonless as well as spouseless.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Raising a Widow's Son
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 7:17: