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Archive for February 8th, 2018

JustPassingThrough_Archive

 

There is a story of Jesus, just passing through a town one day, and an extraordinary turn of events occurred.

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through” (Luke 19:1), is how the story begins.

Just passing though.”

No plans to stop, to folks to meet, no sights to see … just passing through.

I love the start of this story, because it is relaxed, it sounds like a carefree day.

I also love the start of this story because when I think of Jericho, my mind wanders to the Old Testament book of Joshua, and how that chapter opens is quite a contrast:

“Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.” (Joshua 6:1)

“No one when out and no one came in.”

The doors were locked, those who we in, stayed in … those who were out, stayed out.

All because of the Israelites … the Jews who threatened the safety of the city (and hey, when Joshua blew his trumpet, after he and the soldiers marched around it … well, the Israelites did kinda crush Jericho).

And who is “just passing through” all these years later, but Jesus … king of the Jews. Just passing through

It doesn’t take one long, as we read and study about the life of Jesus, to know that he may have been just passing through, according to Luke, but Jesus never did anything without purpose.

For his purpose was always redemption.

And on this day, redemption was in his heart for Zacchaeus, the dreaded tax collector.

I love that Jesus is just passing through this city that was once locked to keep the Jews out, and he meets up with Zaccheaus, the Jewish tax collector who was well known for ripping people off, in the name of the Roman Empire (basically, he was working for the other team … imagine Tom Brady dropping his Patriots and signing with the Eagles, days before the Super Bowl … I believe that would make him (Brady and Zaccheaus) a traitor).

Though Jesus may have been just passing through the whole of Jericho was out to see this man, named Jesus, who they had heard was coming their way.

You see, his reputation had reached Jericho before his sandals ever touched that ground.

So, Zaccheaus, the rich Jewish tax collector for Rome (traitor), climbed up a tree to see this Jewish king, teacher, rabbi. He had to climb up a tree because he was short … one might say (and, perhaps, he would agree) that he was not only short in stature, but short sighted as well, when he chose to collect taxes for Rome, for though he acquired wealth, he lost community, birthright and belonging.

For Zaccheaus to choose such a job would set him apart from his people … by his association with Rome, his wealth and his greed.

Zaccheaus wanted to see this Jesus, perhaps because he knew that he was, by cultural connection, his redemption too … for we are all just passing through.

“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today”” (v. 5)

When he reached the spot … so much for just passing through!

Jesus (king of the Jews),

went to Jericho (a city once locked to keep the Jews out),

to see Zaccheaus (rejected by his people, the Jews, for working with the enemy),

to remind Zaccheaus that he was a descendent or son of Abraham (the Father of the Jews) …

“for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (v. 10)

Redemption, through Jesus, came to Zaccheaus

And he comes for you and I too.

 

 

 

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