THE ROAD TO JERICHO or the ROAD TO PARTICIPATION

July 25, 2018

Background Luke 10:25-37 Focus Luke 10:30-37

The refrain in Donald S. McCossan’s excellent gospel song, “On The Jericho Road,” says,

“On the Jericho road, there’s room for just two,

No more and no less, just Jesus and you;

Each burden He’ll bear, each sorrow He’ll share,

There’s never a care for Jesus is there.”

I question the first two lines. It is more accurate to say,

“On the Jericho road, there’s room for more than two,

There’s Jesus, you, and a neighbor in need.”

This wording reflects what Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan is about; Jesus, you, and an opportunity to love. 

The Christian road system is quite remarkable in its extent—Salvation, Revelation, Designation, and finally the road to Jericho. As we journeyed on the first three roads—Jerusalem, Emmaus, and Damascus, we experience the Love and the transforming power of God.

  • Jerusalem the opportunity to be transformed from being a sinner and lost to being redeemed and saved
  • Emmaus the chance to be converted from a doubter to a believer
  • Damascus the opportunity to be changed from being self-directed to being God-directed

As we journey on the fourth road, the Jericho road, we demonstrate our Love for God through our love for neighbor. Jericho is the opportunity to be transformed from a spectator into a participant…from being self-righteous and unconcerned about the lost to being broken hearted and having a sense of responsibility for the condition of the lost neighbor. One steps outside his / her comfort zone.

This steeply descending road— 15 miles long and descends 3,300 ft. — Winds through desolate and rocky places that easily hide robbers. It was a notoriously dangerous road. It was so bad that the Romans placed a fort on the road.

The Bible clearly links one’s love for God with one’s response toward others. Someone has described the love for God as faith and love for neighbor as faith in action. A person starts on the road to Jericho only after they have expressed their love for God. Their continuance on the road is determined by their reaction to encountering a neighbor in need. Somewhere on the way, the traveler confronts a “pothole”. The Bible describes pot holes as people who have “fallen among thieves.”

But the Believer who is walking with God looks at stumbling blocks and problems and sees OPPORTUNITES to show their Love for God and neighbor.

Believers are to serve and witness to all men and women no matter their nationality, sex, age or any other demographic. Our witness is to be practical—we meet them at the point of their need. It is to be done from a heart of love. Love is faith in action.

First you come to Christ

Next you walk with Christ

Then Christ commissions you

Finely you love your neighbor

The lawyer (An expert in OT law rather than an advocate in court) question: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” (Jesus’ first question)

The lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” [Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18] The former is part of the Jewish Shema, or creed, which was customarily recited in the synagogue worship.

The expert in the law correctly understood the law demanded total devotion to God and love for one’s neighbor (Lk 10:27). Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

The lawyer correctly answered Jesus first question, “What is written in the law?” The lawyer said love God and your neighbor.  Then, Jesus told a Parable to illustrate this point.

Jericho Road continued next week.