The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 128

Yeshua’s Final Journey ~ Part 5

In our last post, we have been dealing with the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, Yeshua Visits Zacchaeus and Heals Blind Bartimaeus.

Yeshua Visits Zacchaeus (Zakkai)

Yeshua entered Yericho and was passing through, when a man named Zakkai (The name, ironically, means “innocent” in Hebrew.) appeared who was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. He was trying to see who Yeshua was, but, being short, he couldn’t because of the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed a fig tree in order to see him, for Yeshua was about to pass that way. When He came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zakkai! Hurry! Come down because I have to stay at your house today!” He climbed down as fast as he could and welcomed Yeshua joyfully. Everyone who saw it began muttering, “He has gone to be the house guest of a sinner.” But Zakkai stood there and said to the Lord, “Here, Lord, I am giving half of all I own to the poor; and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”

Four times as much. When a person confessed to fraud and made voluntary restitution, the Torah required him to return the amount stolen plus twenty percent (Leviticus 5:20–24(6:1–5), Numbers 5:5–7). An apprehended thief had to pay the victim double (Exodus 22:3, 6(4, 7)). But a man stealing what is essential and showing no pity was required to pay back fourfold (Exodus 21:37(22:1), 2 Samuel 12:6). Zakkai, fully repentant, not only acknowledged the heartlessness and cruelty of his behavior but voluntarily imposed upon himself the whole restitution required by the Torah for such acts.

 Yeshua said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, inasmuch as this man too is a son of Avraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”  [1]

Salvation, Hebrew yeshu’ah, is the feminine form of Yeshua’s name. Thus, there is a wordplay: Yeshua/salvation has come to this house (compare 2:30, Mt 1:21). To seek … what was lost, as in chapter 15, and echoing Ezekiel 34:16, where God seeks His lost sheep.

Yeshua Heals Blind Bartimaeus (Bar-Timai)

46 They came to Yericho, and as Yeshua was leaving Yericho with His talmidim and a great crowd, a blind beggar, Bar-Timai (son of Timai), was sitting by the side of the road. 47 When he heard that it was Yeshua from Natzeret, he started shouting, “Yeshua! Son of David! Have pity on me!”

Son of David, a Messianic title. Therefore, by his shout, Bar-Timai was identifying Yeshua as the Messiah.

4Many people scolded him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the louder, “Son of David! Have pity on me!” 49 Yeshua stopped and said, Call him over!” They called to the blind man, “Courage! Get up! He’s calling for you!” 50 Throwing down his blanket, he jumped up and came over to Yeshua.51 “What do you want me to do for you?” asked Yeshua. The blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me be able to see again.” 52 Yeshua said to him, “Go! Your trust has healed you.” Instantly he received his sight and followed Him on the road. [2]

In our next, we will continue to explore Yeshua’s, Final Journey.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Luke 19:1–10.
[2] Mark 10:46–52.

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