Jesus/Yeshua the poor and the powerful
Today, she spends a lot of time with Jovan, who watched Yeshua die on Calvary.
JOVAN’S EYES OPENED
Jovan and his wife from Capernaum gave me a clear snapshot of Yeshua in Galilee. Jovan had been an unemployed, young man with a disability. His right hand was withered and “finny.â He was ashamed of himself and lonely, but one Sabbath day he went to the synagogue meeting hall when Yeshua was there. He shivered nervously when he heard Yeshua call his name. “Jovan, come out from the back corner and stand near me up here.â Now Jovan had never been in the front of the synagogue before and he sweated because he knew the church leaders in the village and the special visitors were not pleased. Yeshua spoke again. “Jovan lives among us for years with only one good hand. On this special God’s day, should it be Jovan’s special deliverance day too, or his day of condemnation to a half a life?â You could hear a pin drop in the long silence. Jovan said to me “I felt so shame, not for myself, but to see my pastors, teachers and priests â Gods’ servants â turn their back on God’s invitation to me. Yeshua was vexed too.â Jovan said he stretched his right hand powerfully full length in their direction when Yeshua told him to. Jovan and Hannah are now married and waiting for their firstborn. But what struck me were Jovan’s words. “What Yeshua did for me that Deliverance Day against the wishes of the leaders became his ticket to a cross on Calvary. Only God could put down the mighty, rise up the lowly and weak, and get away with it.â Jovan put it finally thus: “Is his love for me and people like me send Yeshua to Calvary, but I believe he rise.â
A TRANSPARENT MESSAGE
It appears to me that Yeshua had a call on his life, stronger than the promises that society offers, more compelling than the damage and hurts that society threatens with. And he invited others to hear that call to the life of a new kingdom and empire. They told me about two important men, Nicodemus and Zacchaeus whom Yeshua called out.
Nicodemus had been a leading authority among the Hebrew people. When he visited Yeshua out of respect and also because he was not fully comfortable in this soul, Yeshua was straightforward with him. “You have to come out of the partnership of oppression and structures of transgression against God’s community. Your life must start over from the foundation that is the way to good life ahead, born over.â That challenge and altar call to Nicodemus was the same robust open air invitation that Yeshua passed out to the authority class in Jerusalem. None of them stepped up to the altar. They moved against him.
In Jericho, a known crooked tax supervisor also showed interest in Yeshua. People hated this Zacchaeus, also a partner in Roman Empire oppression. Jesus spent time with him and he made a big turnaround to serve his countrymen, rather than eat them out and see them out. A professional turnaround. There was something in Yeshua that was transparent to everybody. An authority of love dwelt in him. He had a mission and a teaching that he himself used to practise. Some say his own words tell the story when he said. This son of Adam has come to serve â as a servant, not as a ruler; to find the lost; to bring sinners to a turnaround.â And I only can marvel at the revolutionary spirit in these beatitude declarations to the crowd: “Congratulations, you poor! God’s domain belongs to you. Congratulations, you hungry! You will have a feast. Congratulations, you who weep now! You will laugh.â This Yeshua from Galilee is getting to me. I believe that when I complete this assignment for Round Table, I will still want to know him more for my call.
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