August 11, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Saviour at Jericho
“As He was come night unto Jericho .
Jesus entered and passed through Jericho”
(Luke 18:35; 19:1).
Two Sons and Jericho:
Jericho held a very memorable place in the history of the nation of Israel. The priests bearing the ark walked around the city for seven days when its walls fell to Israel’s army. What a testimony to God’s awesome power was displayed that day. Joshua issued a curse upon the city, foretelling that the man who attempted to rebuild what God destroyed would lose two sons: one when the building began, and a second at its completion.
But the city had been rebuilt; it was built at the costs of the lives of two sons. 1 Kings 16, which paints the sad picture of the moral decline in Israel under Ahab, tells us of Hiel the Beth-elite who was determined to rebuild the city. As he laid the foundation for the city, his firstborn son died. You can almost hear him scoffing at the prophecy of Joshua (Josh 6:26): “Just a coincidence! Nothing to those old prophecies!” He blindly kept building. And when he was ready to set up the gates to complete his rebuilding project, his youngest son died. Two sons, and a blind and stubborn father – all were linked with Jericho.
Centuries rolled their course and once again Jericho was in the news. “Two Sons” are again linked with Jericho. Yet it is entirely different in so many ways.
In Jericho, He is the Son of David (Luke18:39) and He is the Son of Man (Luke19:10). As Son of David He gave sight to a blind beggar; as Son of Man He forgave and saved a hated publican.
Son of David is His title as heir to the throne of David, Israel’s King-Messiah. It was in this character that this Son of David actually stopped to meet the need of a blind beggar. A King stood still to bring relief to a blind destitute man who could do absolutely nothing for Him. He could not enrich Him, he could not enhance Him; all he could do was to receive from Him. This King actually asked a blind man what he would like done for him. It was almost as though He were giving him a blank check to fill in, promising that all His resources were available to the very least in His kingdom. As He moved through Jericho, He left behind a man who could now see.
In Jericho itself, He was met by Zacchaeus. The story is well-known. From his perch in the sycamore tree, Zacchaeus comes down and receives the Lord Jesus. To the testimony of the saved publican, the Lord Jesus adds His words: “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). This Son was not linked with the rebuilding of a wrecked and ruin city, but with a wrecked and ruined soul.
As Son of Man He is not only the prototypical Man, but the ultimate Man who will have dominion over all the earth for God (Ps 8). Yet, His interests were with a tax collector in a small village whose name was forever linked with the judgment of God. God had shown His might at Jericho in the days of Joshua. But God the Son, as Son of David and as Son of Man, showed both might and mercy when He traveled to Jericho.