What was the last thing you Googled? When was the last time you thought of a friend and went on a little stalking spree through their Instagram? How easy is it for us these days to find out information. If you want to know anything these days, you don’t even have to type, you could just speak into your phone and say, “Hey Siri”. It’s so easy for us, right? Even easier for us to know about Jesus.
Jesus has a pretty massive reputation. I mean, he is the most recorded and documented person in HISTORY. I think it’s easy for us to know him, a quick google search and you can find out everything there is to know about Jesus. But try to imagine the time when Jesus was alive, around 30AD, with no internet, phones or tv. Interesting news mainly travels by word of mouth. Woman gathering around wells gossiping while they collect water and men standing outside of synagogues and shops doing the same. People are a mystery. Jesus is a mystery.
There’s a story in the Gospel according to Luke, in Chapter 19. At this stage in Jesus’ life, he has quite a celebrity status. Word has gotten out about the miracles that he has performed, the healing, the preaching, the forgiving. Crowds are getting overwhelming because people just want to see Jesus for themselves. They want a first hand experience of the power and grace that comes from this man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah.
Now at this point in the Gospel, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. Almost a week ago, Jesus foretold his death to his disciples, and set out for Jerusalem from the Sea of Galilee (See Luke 9:51). Jesus has been in his public ministry for three years, and this was the final stretch. All he had to do was go into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy and do the greatest act in history – die for our salvation. He’s so close to the finish line. The distance is 123km. But when you’ve been walking around for three years, a week is nothing in comparison. Luke 19 opens with “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it.” Jesus’ plan was never to stay in Jericho, Jericho is 25km from Jerusalem. This truly is the final stretch! But even this close to the finish line, Jesus was open to those who needed him. Jesus is never too busy for you. And there is no one too different or too worthless or too bad for Jesus, Jesus wants you. This story of Jesus in Jericho teaches us just that.
How open are we to the people around us? A new year has started, and most of you are probably already thinking of the end. To the next lot of school holidays, to formal or graduation… when we keep our eyes too fixed on the things ahead, how can we be present today? How can we serve and love those who need us right now?
When Jesus passed through Jericho, he was able to change someones life by taking a short detour. What kind of detour can you make? When you get home from school, instead of rushing straight to your room to watch that next episode on Netflix, how about a detour to the kitchen to ask your mum or dad how they are? Or what about inviting that kid that doesn’t really sit with anyone, to sit with you at lunch? Jesus is never too busy for us, so how about we try and do the same. Remember He came to seek and save the lost, and as much as we too are all lost and wandering at times, we can seek out the lost too. You never know how you can impact someone’s life by a small gesture.
+ Jesus, I pray that in our our full and busy lives, we can take the time to be still. To be still and know that you are God, and to be able to open to those around us. May we be open to your Holy Spirit guiding us, and listen when you call us to be brave and seek out the lost.
Song suggestions for prayer:
- Be My Vision – Planetshakers
- Fix My Eyes – Kings Kaleidoscope
- O Come To The Altar – Elevation Worship
He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5 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.” 6 So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7 All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9 Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
by Steph Santos