Jesus began this day, along with many other pilgrims from Galilee, walking south along the east side of the Jordan River. Just north of the Dead Sea, they turned west and forded the Jordan. As Jesus drew closer to Jericho, a blind called out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Jesus’ love healed his blind eyes. (See Luke 18:35-43.)
When Jesus got into Jericho, he saw a notorious little tax collector named Zacchaeus up in a tree and called to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” While Jesus was there, Zacchaeus stood up and made a commitment to give half of his wealth away to the poor and make a more-than-required restitution to anyone he had cheated. Jesus’ love had healed his greedy heart. (See Luke 19:1-10.)
You and I are the blind man and Zacchaeus. We are blind to the depth and darkness of our spiritual condition apart from Jesus. We lust for and cling to the things of this world because we think that by them we are safe and secure. But Jesus’ love heals our blindness and helps us to see that, in Jesus, we are beloved, forgiven children of God. Therefore, we do not need the things of this world for security. We are safe in secure in Jesus. So we gaze at Jesus and we glance at the world. We rest in his love and the new identity we have in him. Each day we invite him to come and live his life in and through us. Jesus’ love changes everything.
Jesus declared his mission when he said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) Jesus is still carrying on his mission of seeking and saving the lost out in the world. And he invites us to join us on his mission. But we cannot be effective missionaries to the people around us unless we are somehow different, in an attractive way, from the people around us. And that can only happen when we stop all of our efforts to save ourselves, place all of our life and all that we have at the feet of Jesus, and let his love heal and transform us.