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The labels that drive us

Luke 19:1

"1 And [Jesus] entered and passed through Jericho.”

  Jericho is known as the city of man. It is the oldest inhabited city on Earth. In Luke 18:35  Jesus was coming near to Jericho on His way to Jerusalem for what we know as the “Triumphal Entry.” On His way, there was a blind man called “Blind Bartimaeus”  who cried out for Jesus to relieve him of his blindness…. which of course Jesus did. Incidentally, in the version of this story as recorded in Matthew  chapter 20, there are two men listed as blind beggars on the way to Jerusalem close to Jericho, however the remaining three gospels only depict one. I believe that this is because only “Blind Bartimaeus” received his sight. Luke 18:42 recounts that Jesus told the man that his {own} faith had made him well- meaning the man’s faith not Jesus'. This is not only what happened, it is prophetic and insightful for what would happen next. When the crowd that witnessed this healing saw the man receive his sight, they gave praise to God. We can reasonably assume that the majority of the crowd were from Jericho and we can also reasonably assume that this majority was aware of not only Jesus’ reputation but of the condition of “Blind Bartimaeus.” It is evident by virtue of the fact that the blind man was identified by his ailment that the population in which he resided knew him to be blind, which also indicates that the condition continued for a long period of time….. probably birth or early childhood. In the first verse of chapter 19, the Word says that Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 

    So what we see is that of two men, only one believes that he can receive full healing from Jesus. We see that the world around a man identified him by what is wrong with him. We see a population that witnesses this healing and yet there is not one further recording of Jesus healing anyone in Jericho at this time… as it is written that “Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.” The Holy One says that when men are ingratiated with their own ability and steeped in tradition their hearts are hard and they choose not to believe that they need help, or that they cannot provide their own healing, provision, etc. This was the city of man, it was and is the oldest city… it was then as it is now, a testament to the strength and understanding of men. To buy into this idea, this culture, is to restrict the movement of God through the culture. He still exists there, however, He makes no abode there but enters and passes through. Furthermore, the story of “Blind Bartimaeus”  reflects a culture that labels a human by their faults and does so because that human is beyond the help of the culture. The culture has no real means of assisting humans, they simply have methodologies that manage effects of sin. That culture does not realize that their knowledge of good and evil exists in a distorted world and therefore cannot be relied upon. When they see a result of this distortion that they are powerless to overturn, they resolve to identify it so that their own hearts will naturally reject it. Blind Bartimaeus was outside of the city, he was not accepted but ignored because the city of man had no answer for him. Their label drove him to humility, their label drove him to know of Jesus, to expect from Jesus, to receive from Jesus, and to believe that although God blesses man, God gave man the choice, the authority as it were to receive that blessing out of his own will and volition. 

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