The Way of Jesus
The Way of Jesus
Words of Faith 11-30-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Jericho had never seen a day quite like this one. The blind man named Bartimaeus had cried out to Jesus and found healing and sight. Jesus had sought out a dinner engagement with Zaccheus the tax collector and salvation had come to that house.
It was a day of vivid contrast as Jesus reached out to a blind man and a sighted man, a poor man and a wealthy man, a verbal man and a quiet man. Men with different needs, backgrounds, concerns, and sins encountered Jesus very differently. Both heard Jesus was coming by. Both knew that they needed Him. Both had their lives changed in a day when Jesus came through town. There are a couple of important things we don't want to miss here.
In this sequence, we don't want to miss the fact that there are different ways that people came to God in Jesus. No, there are not "many paths to God,” just one. But there are many ways that we get on the path. There is great variety in ways that God works and who God reaches. So often we get the idea that the Lord will work in the same way in every life. In our human failing we often will attempt to standardize the experience of God in Jesus.
After the first encounter, we might be tempted to make a "First Church of Bartemaeus" that says: "In order to come to know Jesus you've got to sit by the road, really face your blindness, and when you are desperate enough you will cry out to the Lord He will answer. If you do not hear Him perhaps you are not desperate enough or shouting loudly enough. That is the way to God in Jesus." There would be low building costs. Just set up by the road.
Or we could form the "Church of Zaccheus" and say: "You must watch Jesus from a distance and await the call of God from a tree... You must study Him on the roadway as you await His call. Do not cry out to Him. Do be exuberant or loud. Wait in nature, up in a tree, for the call of God." Such a church could even have well-cared-for trees rather than pews. Of course only short, wealthy, quiet people need apply for membership.
Aren't we humans silly? The wonder of Jesus is found in the many differing ways that He responds to and deals with people. A rich young ruler came along and Jesus said give everything away. A blind beggar cried out and he healed him. A little fellow climbed up a tree and Jesus called Him by name.
There is a model for the Church here. As the Body of Christ, we must seek to respond to people as Jesus responds, and seek as Jesus seeks. Churches tend to get into ruts. Some churches go out visiting. Others wait for the lost to come to them. Some churches offer altar calls every week but have no discipleship. Others offer classes but no opportunity for commitment. Some are in mission to the hurting. Others are engaged in fellowship that is inviting. Some minister to the "down and out" while others minister to the "up and out.” We often wonder what the right way is.
Jesus modeled for us a Church that listens and responds to the cry of Bartimaeus and also calls out to Zaccheus on the road. The church that follows Jesus works with the hurting who cry out, the down and out, but also ministers to the up and out who don't say a word. Jesus responded to a poor beggar because He was not too busy and then He made an appointment with perhaps the wealthiest man in town. Both are valid. Both are necessary.
There was tremendous power when Zaccheus sat down to dinner with Bartimaeus and realized that if Jesus could cure this man's physical blindness, then he certainly could cure his own spiritual blindness! It is a glimpse of the Kingdom of God when two like this are brought together at a banquet.
These things are powerful but they are of little significance if we have never encountered Jesus personally. What about you? Have you been alongside the road for a time in darkness? Jesus is nearby. Don't miss the opportunity to cry out to Him and find mercy in the Son of David.
Or perhaps you have been watching to see what all this Jesus parade is about, staying above the fray as you observe the commotion. Jesus is calling out to you in your heart of hearts to say, "Hey, I want you to come down from there and have fellowship with me. I want to come to your house. I want to re-prioritize your world. I want to turn your life upside down and call you to repent of your sin and repay the bad things you have done in your life. But most of all, I want to give you a joy that you cannot imagine!"
Perhaps today you recognize the darkness around you and that Jesus is nearby. And you would cry out to Him in your heart or even aloud right now and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Perhaps today you recognize that Jesus has been calling you down from the tree. He no longer wants you to think you are above others looking on. He calls you to invite Him into your house to dine with Him. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." The same offer He gave to Zaccheus He gives to you.
Father God, I am so grateful that You have sought me out in the person of Jesus. Give sight to my blind eyes. Call me down from my tree. Teach me how to be the Body of Christ that follows Jesus. In His name I pray.