For more than ten years, I was a sojourner in the army of God as a volunteer missionary with an international orphan organization that specialized in transforming volunerable children’s lives, building strong families and enriching the lies of senior adults based on incorporating the tenent principles associated with Christ-centered values.
In last week’s blog on this site, I mentioned that people often asked me how I could remember so much background information about lineages and genealogies in the Bible. Others also wanted to know my secret for ascertaining the direction a particular character in the Bible would pursue. Well, because of those statements, this week I received several requests for specific examples. I found two perfect New Testament parables in Luke to enlighten you guys from chapters 18 and 19, concerning the blind beggar and the story of Zacchaeus in the tree.
“Zacchaeus, come down from that tree. I want to go home with you”, Jesus said.
(Using a descriptive Legend Expressed by Jews in Jesus’ Day):
City of Jericho - A town occupied by citizens of mixed identity. A Beggar - An Israelite belief that God would never allow his children to beg for bread. The Beggar - He Recognized Jesus as being a Son (descendant) of King David. The Beggar - Although despised by some, Jesus said he had more faith than others. Blind Person - An informative (defect/illness) that plagues sinners. Tax Collector - An occupation imposed by Rome and despised by Jews. Tax Collector - Although ostracized by some, identified by Jesus as a son of Abraham. The crowd - Disrespected Jesus. Identified Jesus as being from Nazareth, a city where nothing good could come out of. The crowd - Disrespected the blind man. Told him to shut up. The crowd - Disapproved of Jesus going to dine at the home of a tax collector.
Following is a brief summation of both parables:
It is recorded in scripture that Jesus passed through the ancient city of Jericho on at least two occasions. Large crowds followed Him. Jesus never failed to take time to heal people that the crowds considered to be an outcast in their communities. In both stories, the two men involved with our Lord had isolated themselves from the crowd and they both had a need. The blind beggar who sat along the road side needed his sight to be restored (Luke 18:35-43). Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, short in stature and who had climbed a tree to see Jesus, he needed to be converted from his wicked ways. (Luke 19:1-10)
The crowds who followed Jesus had shown indignation towards these two men and expressed their distain and were non obliging towards Jesus’ reception of them. The crowd wanted and expected Jesus to only associate with ‘their‘ kind, and not to have anything to do with those who were considered to be an outcast.
Jesus turned the tables on the crowd by proclaiming that the blind man was deserving to receive his sight based on his level of faith he had demonstrated in Jesus. And on behalf of Zacchaeus, Jesus said to the crowd that in spite of this man’s occupation, he never the less still was a child of Abraham and that the Son of Man (Jesus) came to seek and to save what was lost.
My prayer for you…
Heavenly Father, I truly want to proclaim Your message and live in such a way that people will be able to see from my actions that I am serious about my faith. And I also pray for everyone who comes to this blog post and desires to follow in Your footsteps after reading conversational stories as to how You structured Your life’s journey while a sojourner on earth. How Your heart’s desire was to aide and abet Your fellowman. Please, Lord Jesus, help us all to get this attribute right. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it. (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 8)
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