This verse gives us insight into a burial custom from New Testament times. A widow’s son had died, and a coffin with his body inside was being carried outside the city for burial. The woman’s friends and neighbors were walking along with her.
This is similar to our modern custom of forming a funeral procession to follow the casket of a deceased person to the cemetery for burial. It is a gesture of respect that assures the survivors of our love and support.
What Jesus did for this widow who had lost her only son was more than a gesture of respect. In an act of compassion. He raised him from the dead and then “delivered him to his mother” (Luke 7:15).
LUKE 7:12 – He [Jesus] came nigh to the gate of this city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son fo his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city [a large crowd from the town, NIV] was with her.