From Jerusalem to Jericho
In Luke ch10, we come across a certain lawyer who asked the Lord, Who is my neighbour? In reply, the Lord told him about a certain man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. This man was attacked by robbers on the way and was badly wounded and they left him half dead.
We realise that the city from which the man came meant a lot to him as it does to us. because the name Jerusalem means `City of peace'. We also remember what Joshua said about Jericho after destroying it: "Cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city Jericho: at the cost of his first-born son will he lay a foundation: at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates" (Joshua 6:26). From this simple statement, we can deduce that this city is associated with a curse and death.
This man decided to travel from the city of peace to the city of curse and death. No wonder he could not complete the journey peacefully. In any case, the Lord Jesus, when describing the type of journey the man took, says he was going down not up! And who would love to go down and not up in this life? Even in worldly wealth no one loves to go down; how much more in spiritual things. Would we love to go down from the heavenly calling and descend to the depth of death? If we are in our right senses we will say, No!
Perhaps this man originally lived in Jericho but later went to live in Jerusalem, and he decided to return where he came from. Of course, he could not reach his downward journey's end, because he was leaving the city of peace. I can say this man was fortunate not to have reached Jericho, because if he had, he would have found only death there.
What about us? Should we long to go back to Jericho after having been given a place in Jerusalem by our Lord? And why did the Lord say this story of going down from Jerusalem to Jericho? It is because physically there is a very steep road between two cities. Therefore, the Lord is illustrating to us how steep we can go down from him if we return to our way of life, whose end will only result in death. Hence, whenever we think of leaving our Lord and long to return to our old ways., let us always remember what the Lord said to the ecclesia: "Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place" (Revelation 2:5).
Bro John Kasanda (Kazembe, Zambia)