Today David McMillan related the stories of Jesus as he journeyed to Jerusalem for the last time. Despite knowing what was ahead of him, suffering and death, we will look at what he did on the journey, how he dealt with people and what he said to them. Readings are from a variety of passages from Matthew and Luke.
This particular journey was significant.
Jesus finally told the twelve the full story, but they didn’t understand. If they had, James and John would not have asked for positions of power.
Approaching Jericho – read Luke 18:35-42. A blind man shouts…
A blind man with no physical sight shows he has insight into who Jesus really is.
Jesus halts, heals the man, saying that his faith has healed him.
Passing through Jericho – read Luke 19:1-10. The chief tax collector, Zacchaeus, up a tree wanting to see Jesus, was seen by Jesus.
Leaving Jericho – read Matthew 20:29-34. Two blind men shout:
The least obvious people could say with conviction: “Jesus, son of David”.
Jesus has compassion and heals them.
Bethany – read Luke 19:29,30. Jesus sends two disciples to find a colt.
Journey into Jerusalem – read Matthew 21:6-9. As prophesied, Jesus rides on a donkey over cloaks and palm leaves spread by the crowd, accompanied by shouts of joy. At the sight of Jerusalem, Jesus weeps because they don’t know what could bring them peace (Luke 19:41-42).
Jesus enters Jerusalem – read Matthew 21:10-17. In the temple Jesus is enraged at the misuse of his Father’s house and scatters the dealers. He spends time teaching and healing, despite the danger from the authorities.
The importance of stories
The story of Jesus’ journey provides 3 lessons that shape our values, attitudes and behaviour: Seeing; Compassion; Confrontation.
a. The blind men clearly see who Jesus is.
b. In Zacchaeus Jesus sees the potential of redemption.
c. Jesus sees and weeps over Jerusalem.
- We need to remember that we see because of grace.
- The challenge of learning to see with the eyes of Jesus.
- Do we see the potential of redemption?
a. Jesus acts with compassion, dealing a blow to the prejudice of the crowd, who see disability as God’s judgment.
b. In Zacchaeus Jesus sees the potential of redemption more than the disapproval of the crowd.
c. In the midst of the chaos and danger in the temple Jesus stays to help those in need
- We too need to be compassionate.
- We need patience and wisdom, not judgmentalism.
a. Jesus confronts distorted notions of the value of human life.
b. Jesus confronts the idea that some are unredeemable.
c. In tackling abuses in the Temple, Jesus confronts corruption
- Seeing with the eyes of Jesus and practising compassion:
- Will cause us to confront our own prejudices and expose the need for change in us.
- Will also lead to confrontation of the destructive activity of evil in the world.