Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
Jesus did not have to pass by Jericho or Samaria
First Thought series on Luke 19:1-10
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector.
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus did not have to pass by Jericho or Samaria.
The Lord of lords, the God of gods and Son of God do not "have to do” anything at all.
Nevertheless Jesus passed by Jericho and Samaria. He did not only go to Jericho and Samaria, but he said to Zacchaeus "I must stay in your house today". On the way to Galilee "He had to go through Samaria". In both cases, Jesus is "passing by" to some place else. Yet there was a divine appointment with one individual. It was not even the need of the lost that prompts Jesus to go to either of these places. It was the sovereignly given word to Abraham and his descendants in Covenant that make him go in search of the elect.
These individuals are singled out as "sinners", in the opinion of their people and by their own admission and Jesus' words who said: "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was Lost". Let us see,
A stop over for a water break.
A blind by the side of the road.
A woman sick for twelve years.
A father with a demon possessed son.
A widow with a dead only son.
A Father with a dying daughter.
A centurion with a dying servant.
And Jesus casually passing by? No way!
There is no such a thing as Casualty.
There is no such a thing as Chance.
There is no such a thing as Accidents.
There is no such a thing as Fate.
There is no such a thing as Coincidence.
There is no such a thing as Luck.
There is no such a thing as Misfortune.
* These are secular words that have work their way into our Vocabulary like illegal aliens who have legalized their status by squatter and found a place in the dictionary.
Their seemingly innocent presence in the Land of the Free where the rights of the individual is worshipped, do great harm to the legal citizens of the land by displacing out of the job to the rightful citizens or rightful words, just as “Gosh” and “Gee” is replacement of God and Jesus.
There is no such a thing a Jesus going aimlessly passing by from here to there, like an ant on a driveway. Our God is not only perfect and Orderly, but He is Omnipotent, Wise and Powerful enough that He has not left anything to chance. He is a sovereign God and has a careful inventory of the number of my hair including the ones that fall on the sink and the shower of my bathroom and the ones blown by the wind as I ride my bicycle.
Our God “attends the funeral" of a little bird that falls dead from the nest to the ground. He also remembers the day He painted its feathers and feed him multigrain and juicy worms for breakfast.
God does not forget the many songs the little bird sing to Him early in the morning and through the day while amusing Him running like the sandpaper leaving foot prints on the sand of the sea shore with its skinny little legs. Those beautiful parallel even footprints that are erase by the waves of the sea as if no one has even been there. Thus the life of a small bird pass away unnoticed by men but noticed by God.
How could such a purposeful God who is able to create and maintain his creation not have purpose and order for greater things? After all he has said that we are more important than many sparrows.
God indeed cares for us and dearly. He knows our end from the beginning and He has planned every step of the way. His Will and Word govern the World. Nothing whatsoever comes to pass weakens His Sovereign Rule. Any child and the child like have no problem accepting the immutable predestined nature of our lives. As soon as you teach a child he does not depart from the truth of Omnipotence and Sovereignty of God.
Becoming an adult and enjoying too much the accumulative wisdom of our year has alienated us from the humility of a child and has robbed us of childlikeness.
The sad thing is that the so-called “wisdom” has been invaded by the secular. The “wise of this world” is like “The proud Wheat” with more straw than grains to show but stands tall and straight in its fruitless pride.
True wisdom with its many grains on the straw bends over in humility at the weight of its fruit. The beauty of predestination is that it places the root of our salvation over space and time and above the Sun away from the reach of any harm in life, as we know it.
Besides, it could not be eternal that which is rooted in time and space. Nothing that has a beginning will live forever. Eternity by Nature does not have a beginning neither has an end. We are not only made to last forever, we are eternal.
The fitting question at this time is, where were we before the foundation of the World? The only answer is that we were in the thoughts of God. We are not a creation like the universe, which came into existence by the power of the word of God constituted and helplessly dependent from Time, Space, Matter, and Movement. Should we miss any one of these four elements, it would be impossible to talk about existence, as we know it in the material world.
All that is of the seen world are lifeless and living matter. Man is more that the lifeless and living matter. God did not created us in such a manner of all the created things. He made us with his own hands carefully and wonderfully superior to all creation as the crown of the created world. Even so, as marvelous as the human body is, it’s only our dwelling place designed to return where it came from.
Eventually all things, came from nothing and go back to nothing, including the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars. All things will pass away including the body made by his hands.
So what is left? Nothing, but God and what is of God. He alone is the Great I am! If we became, it is because He is. We derive our existence from God. We are of God and for God! At death the spirit is separated from the body. The body goes back where it came from and the spirit to God who gave it. Eureka?
NO! Because Eureka mean "I found it". We do not learn who we are by finding but by revelation. What is the great revelation here? God give it! While everything is created and made life and life eternal is God's direct given of Himself of His nature by our nostrils and infusing life in the lifeless body made out of mud. While animals and plant are alive, only men have life. Live is a person not a estate of being or existence.
God lend to our body his breath and he claims back at death His breath as the spirit goes back to God who gave it! We are not our body. We are our Spirit. We are of God, for God and go back to God. For God so loved the world that He gave! Love is in the given.
Jesus had to pass by Nicodemus’ place to pick up one lost in Religion. Jesus did not have do anything but he did and must do it personally. He could have order angels to do it. He could have done it with an Executive order. But he chose to do it personally because there is no other way to be saved but by the one and only Savior who is reconciling the World unto Himself. Notice the words "Unto Himself". He is claiming His own! His breath from our nostrils unto himself.
God saving his living spirit from them. Salvation is not rewarding a bunch of miserable traitor who have bitten the hand that give them life and feed. On top of it all, salvation is not a man centered plan to take sinful men to a better place so they can really enjoy themselves forever as if God owes them the blessing of Salvation.
It is not at all about the worthiness of people, it is all about God! It is God who is eternal, it is God who has no beginning or end, it is God who is Love and has share Himself with us. It is God who in Jesus the head claiming back the members of His own body unto Himself. There is nothing to love in the sinner. It is that of God, which he can and will not lose. Jesus came to seek and save by the power of his word and his work on the cross the sinners who by repentance are going back home in the shoulder of Jesus.