Ruining Our Reputation (9AM)
“‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” Last Sunday our focus was on two sons and the warmth and love of their father. This morning we are introduced to two others. The first is outside the city, blind, poor, overlooked, begging. The second is inside the city, short of stature, rich, despised, seeking. And then He appeared... and their souls felt their worth. The “He” who appeared was Jesus.
It was clear as Jesus approached Jericho that He was a popular man. The large crowd following had high hopes and great expectations. They envisioned victory, a revolution against their Roman oppressors, a reprieve from their suffering. The reality would be quite different and the victory more profound. No one but Jesus understood that each step He took towards Jerusalem was a step closer to rejection, suffering, humiliation, and death. As the crowd celebrated around Him, He carried a heavy heart. And yet, all the way to the cross He taught, He demonstrated God’s heart, He saw, He called, He healed, He invited. His journey began in Bethlehem.
This advent Sunday we celebrate the Joy of Christmas. Our passage this morning is not a typical “Christmas” season “joy” passage. And yet, every passage in the Bible is, at its depth, a Christmas and Easter “joy” passage. Each verse and story depend on Christmas, and each verse and story points to the cross and empty tomb.
What did the blind beggar and a rich tax collector in our story have in common? They were told in a dozen ways that they were worth-less. And then He appeared. When He called them, for the first time, their soul felt its true worth. Where did, or will, Jesus appear to you and me? On the road, in a tree, at a desk, in a pew, sitting alone at home, by the bedside of a loved one? And when He appeared... Joy!