April 6, 2017
In writing class we were told that there were basically three steps to writing or public speaking.
Step one: Tell the audience what you’re going to tell them.
Step two: Tell them
Step three: Tell them what you’ve told them.
In my mind, Jesus began his ministry that way, he began by telling the people what he was going to live before them. He began in Matthew five in the Sermon on the Mount by saying, “O the blessedness” of those in particular circumstances. The poor the meek the humble, those who hunger for righteousness, the merciful, the pure, the peacemakers… (Matthew 5:3-10)
From there Jesus began to live and example those things before the people. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told them what he was going to tell them, now he taught them, through his words and actions, what he had told them.
And finally just before Palm Sunday, actually on Jesus’ way there, there are two stories where in essence Jesus is saying, “There, I just repeated my message to you.”
The two stories are the healing of the blind beggar Bartimaeus, and the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. In both of those stories are the essence of what Jesus had been about for the last three years…
People matter. All people matter.
And through the example of Blind Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus the tax collector, are examples of what Jesus taught, ask, seek, knock…persistence…the faith of a child, thanksgiving, praise to God…honesty…humility…purity…merciful…
These two stories, in my mind anyway, put the emphasis on the end of Jesus’ ministry. He had succeeded in putting into many people’s minds the need for Jesus, Jesus’ transforming power, and new life emerging from the compost of the old life.
That work done, he is now ready to ride into Jerusalem and publicly declare that his work is finished.
Just some thoughts thinking toward Sunday…