Thursday, January 22, 2015

Marching Around The Walls

This morning there is a chapter in my booklet about the mission of the Church (p 20 of 'The Release of the Priesthood') and the writer talks about how outreaches like bus ministry, evangelism and Sunday school will never be a profit-making endeavors but the sacrifices of many go into the storehouses and then there is a fund that helps supply (in part) for these things and to help those in need like widows and those in desperate situations.

At one point Luke 19:10 was cited but I think this whole passage speaks volumes.

"He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.'

So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, 'He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.'

And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, 'Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.'

And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.' " - Luke 19:1-10 ESV

Whenever The Spirit names a location in the text the whole history of that location comes to mind in the context of what is happening in that moment. Jesus comes from Jericho and that was the place where Israel walked around the city for seven days (see Joshua 6). They likely did it in discomfort since all the now adult men were circumcised just before that (see Joshua 5).

Jesus walked like those men walked around Jericho. They were to walk day after day but they walked quietly until Joshua gave the signal for them to shout and when they did the angels pushed the walls to the ground.

Jesus walked the city and when He saw prudent Zacchaeus, who always turned a profit, in a tree to get a good vantage point to make his time profitable He called to him.

That man's walls came down at the sound of Jesus' gracious words and actions. Jesus threw his reputation, such as it was, out the window when He publicly announced a visit to a hated tax collectors house.

Today I leave my house to go to work and turn a profit but my going is a walk around Jericho kind of going. I'm looking for the man in the tree who climbs to see something.

God give us words of grace and sacrificial lives that take what we have and put it in to the storehouse so that we can be a part of the great works you are doing close by and on foreign soil.


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