Joshua 15:1-63, Luke 18:18-43, Psalms 86:1-17, Proverbs 13:9-10
Today is the 17th day of April welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian and it is wonderful to be here with you today as we gather yet again around the Global Campfire and take the next step forward like we do every day. And our next step leads us back into the book of Joshua. And today we’ll read Joshua chapter 15.
Alright. So, in the gospel of Luke today, we are now turning toward Jerusalem, which is what Jesus has…has told his disciples in our reading from today, we’re going to Jerusalem, and I’m going to be taken from you, basically. And the disciples don't…they don’t get it. As…as…as the gospel of Luke tells us they don’t understand. And this is in…in part because of their expectations. The idea of the Messiah wasn’t like a foreign concept to the Hebrew people. They were waiting for an Anointed One to come and lead them back to God and…and…and get their land back and dedicate it back to God. And…and just kind of diving into that really gives us a true glimpse even of our own world. There were prophetic words that they were leaning on that one day, God would rescue them, that there would be an Anointed One, but from where they sat or where they stood, where they lived, from where their lives were being lived they were in their ancestral homeland, but it was not their land. It was part of the Roman Empire. It was the province of Syria. It was controlled and governed by Rome. So, on the one hand you have Hebrew people that are just assimilating going like this is pretty good. We get all our needs met, everything is good and just try to assimilate. But then there are other people that are trying to worship the Lord God and are separating themselves because of the mixture in the land. And there are other people that are like, the only way this is gonna work, the only way is that there is Anointed…Anointed One that comes and leads us in a military overthrow of Rome pushing them into the sea, getting them out of the land and restoring the land to God. This is the only way they could see like a tangible victory that made any sort of rational sense. And, so, they’re kind of leaning in this direction. And the territory thar Jesus came from, the Galilee region even…even going back into the intertestamental period, the time between the old and the new Testaments, this is an area known for zealotry for rebellion for…I mean, depending on which side of the equation you’re on, for terrorism, for that kind of stuff, for like ambushes and all kinds of skirmishes. And, so, nobody was expecting what…what Jesus did, and it creates a sharp contrast with the way that we think all oftentimes. We think power through strength, respect through strength and dominance when…when Jesus modeled humility, forgiveness, and love, and sacrifice. He conquered the darkness and the power of death and hell by that example, a very different example than a messianic figure that rises up and creates military unrest and becomes a warlord. And that’s on a macro level. But if we bring it down to a micro level and kind of put it in our own laps, it’s like how we react when the wrong thing gets said with the wrong tone of voice. Like, do we retaliate and start a verbal war, or do we begin to understand that love is a more powerful weapon than any of the disruptions in our lives. Like, Jesus is modeling that love actually does conquer all even if it looks like defeat. The cross changed the entire world, right, including our own lives. Like we are absolutely affected by this If not irreversibly changed by this. And, so, this is our model. And, so, Jesus is telling the disciples this is gonna happen. They don’t completely understand what He’s saying. They arrive in Jericho, which is a desert city in the Jordan Valley. This is the way that the journey was often made. Its…it’s a desert route, but it’s flat land and you’re not up and down and up and down through all of the hills and mountains. So, Jesus is moving through Jericho when a blind man sitting by the side of the road hears that He’s coming through. We’ve seen this story before. And he cries out, “have mercy on me, son of David”, and he won’t stop calling out, “please have mercy on me. Please have mercy, son of David”, even as everyone around him is telling him to shut up and trying to marginalize and push him to the outer boundaries where he can’t be heard. He keeps yelling for mercy. God hears that kind of cry all through the Bible, that humble reaching, that humble longing, crying out, “have mercy on me”. And, so, indeed it gets the attention of Jesus who stops everything. And let’s remember, Jesus has told His disciples what’s gonna happen to Him. They understand…they didn’t understand, but He does. He understands. And, so, like, this scene, it has a lot of weight when we read it because the weight of the world is on Jesus. He’s got a walk up to Jerusalem and be tortured to death and He knows it. Like if you know that kind of knowledge, you’re probably going to be very very very distracted. But Jesus stops everything for this guy. And He gets near the man and says, “what do you want me to do for you?” And the man replies, “I want to see”. And Jesus says, “receive your site. Your faith has healed you.” It’s such a beautiful scene. It’s such a riveting scene. It’s such an important scene in our own lives and it illustrates what we were just talking about, Jesus telling His disciples what’s going to happen, and they can’t see it. They are blind to it. And what does Jesus say about the kingdom, “for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.” Many expected military uprising and overthrow from the Messiah, but they didn’t have eyes to see that forgiveness and love was the way to reconciliation, to putting things back together instead of breaking them down further. That’s our role friends in following Jesus along the path of faith putting things back together. And, so, when that thing gets said with the wrong tone of voice and what rises up in us is retaliation, that’s the moment of truth right there. Will we return good for evil? Will we respond with love knowing that it’s not a week thing, that it actually takes a whole lot more strength and a whole lot more focus to love in the face of it than it does to simply retaliate and continue to break things down further? God’s work is redemption. God’s work is putting things back together. When we go out into the world and continue to break things down because we don’t have eyes to see we’re not helping. And, so, may we begin to get desperate enough for God and desperate enough to see that like this blind man, we will scream out, have mercy upon me, I know I’m blind. I know I can’t see, have mercy upon me. And may we hear Jesus coming up alongside of us asking us, what you want me to do for you? And may we respond. I want to see. And may we hear receive your site your faith has healed you. This is life changing things. Like this is transformational for us. We open our eyes and see what’s going on and get on board with what God is doing in this world. And at the basest level we can understand that if we’re retaliating or if we’re jumping into the fray and actually breaking things further that’s not the right direction. We’re in the direction of redemption and restoration and reconciliation. We’re in the direction of wholeness. We’re moving in the direction that puts us back together again and that we get to participate in putting the world back together. Let’s give it some thought today. There’s not a downside here other than maybe our pride, like other than our arrogance, other than things that we have to control anyway. There’s no downside. What if we experiment in our home? What if we just take a week and go, I will respond in love. I will respond in love. That doesn’t mean I’ll become the doormat. That means I will respond and love. I will not further break another thing down in my relationships in my home. That’s the place to start, just to see if this is the truth, just to…like we’ve come here to read through the whole Bible and many of us have been through the Bible together around the Global Campfire many many years and the Bible continues to confront us in every conceivable way possible in order to get our eyes open, that we might see so that we might walk the path of wholeness.
Jesus we invite You into this. It’s You we need, and You have modeled a path that is a difficult path in the face of the world that we live in. And the fallenness of our human nature and our lust for power and dominance, we see what You were facing. We also see what You’ve modeled for us, that redemption is the way. Putting things back together, restoring, making things new is the way. And we have to confess that we have participated in tearing lots of things down through our thoughts, our words and our deeds, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. Forgive us Lord. We repent. And by saying that we repent, because we can say anything, we’re confessing that we need to go in a different direction and we need Your help to guide us. Come Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise: