I am not a Greek scholar, but it seems to me that the words used in Luke 18:37; 19:1 just might be meant to carry the same meaning as the story of God passing by Moses on the rock. That here is one with glory passing by. It is a holy moment. A moment when holiness enters our field of vision and when we truly see we are left speechless, and our eyes are opened.
In Luke 18:77, Jesus is passing by a blind man. In Luke 19:1, he is passing through Jericho. Two men forever changed by the presence of God passing by. We need to look daily for moments when Jesus is passing by. I think we are so unaccustomed to seeing that we often miss sacred moments.
I think one of the places we miss seeing Jesus the most is dealing with the poor. Many Jesus followers can quote Scripture well, but not many it seems see well. There are many poor people. I am not one to debate the reason for the poverty, but the truth remains that there are poor people. Who is called to minister to and care for the poor? Is it not Christians? Who else can understand what it means to be “social outsiders?” Who else should understand what it means to be hospitable and to live in community sharing our possessions (Acts 2:42-37; Deut. 15)? But, followers of Jesus miss the forest for the trees. Some times we get wrapped up in our own discomfort, and the rules we set and the limits we place on how much or how little we will help those in need. Why? Why is the church not moving out to combat the darkness? Why aren’t we standing up for those that can’t stand for themselves? Why aren’t we freeing ourselves from the burden of materialism and modeling what being an “alien and stranger” looks like?
I know ask big questions of the church. I think, the church can take it. For it is a challenge to all of us, and as the body of Jesus Christ, the church has big shoulders. I know there are great works being done. Works and good that is done that no body hears about. I love it. I love the quiet advancement of the kingdom. It gives me hope that the darkness will not prevail. But, even though the church has big shoulders, we all still need to shoulder the responsibility to live like Jesus in our world; loving our enemies and feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prisons, hanging out with sinners, etc. It is in those moments of service and compassion that we truly see Jesus passing by.