Luke 19:1-10 accounts the story of Jesus and the tax collector Zacchaeus. The story begins with these words, “Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho” (v1).
Struck by those seven words in verse one, it occurred to me this was the same area where in the OT Joshua and his army defeated the inhabitants of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down. The same Jericho, now years later that the Master entered and walked through. The same vicinity where healing of blind eyes would take place. The same vicinity wherein grace and restoration would be experienced.
Our Lord entered in and offered an invitation to grace to a tax collector. As with Zacchaeus, there are walls and rubble all around us [ the sins of our past] waiting for the Master to enter in and walk through. Just by Him entering in and walking through our walls (vicinity) of pain, suffering, agony, guilt and shame, they are transformed by the Holy of Holies. When Our Lord Jesus walks through, He offers us the invitation to experience His restorative love and grace, just as He did with Zacchaeus.
Let Jesus enter and walk through the Jerichos of your life.
“Let the people renew their strength.” Isaiah 41:1
All things on earth need to be renewed. No created thing continueth by itself. “Thou renewest the face of the year,” was the Psalmist’s utterance. Even the trees, which wear not themselves with care, nor shorten their lives with labor, must drink of the rain of heaven, and suck from the hidden treasures of the soil. The cedars of Lebanon, which God has planted, only live because day by day they are full of sap fresh drawn from the earth. Neither can man’s life be sustained without renewal from God. As it is necessary to repair the waste of the body by the frequent meal, so we must repair the waste of the soul by feeding upon the Book of God, or by listening to the preached Word, or by the soul-fattening table of ordinances. How depressed are our graces when means are neglected! What poor starvelings some saints are who live without the diligent use of the Word of God, and secret prayer! If our piety can live without God, it is not of divine creating; it is but a dream; for if God had begotten it, it would wait upon Him as the flowers wait upon the dew.
Without constant restoration we are not ready for the perpetual assaults of hell, or the stern afflictions of heaven, or even for the strifes within. When the whirlwind shall be loosed, woe to the tree that had not sucked up fresh sap, and grasped the rock with many intertwisted roots. When tempests arise, woe to the mariners that have not strengthened their mast, nor cast their anchor, nor sought the haven.
If we suffer the good to grow weaker, the evil will surely gather strength and struggle desperately for the mastery over us; and so, mayhap, a painful desolution, and a lamentable painful disgrace may follow. Let us draw near to the footstool of divine mercy in humble entreaty, and we shall realize the fulfillment of the promise, “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” Amen.