This from Kenneth Bailey’s “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes”.
Bailey sees the union of the story of Jesus healing the blind man with the story of Jesus inviting himself to Zacchaeus’ house. He sees the crowd’s initial irritation at the blind man turn into their approval of Jesus for lifting up and healing the oppressed.
Jesus does not stay in town but instead continues to pass through until the incident with Zacchaeus. Bailey here imagines what the crowd WANTED to hear from Jesus, instead of what they did hear.
Naturally, Jesus is expected to support the oppressed (as he did with the blind man) and to address Zacchaeus with something like the following:
Zacchaeus, you are a collaborator! You are an oppressor of these good people. You have drained the economic lifeblood of your people and given it to the imperialists. You have betrayed your country and your God. This community’s hatred of you is fully justified. You must quit your job, repent, journey to Jerusalem for ceremonial purification, return to Jericho and apply yourself to keeping the law. If you are willing to do these things, on my next trip to Jericho I will enter your newly purified house and offer my congratulations.
Such a speech would have provoked long and enthusiastic applause. Instead, having signaled that he does not intend to spend the night in their town, Jesus changes his mind and invites himself into the house of the town collaborator!
wow. This Jesus both brings justice and gently overcomes evil with love. Amazing. pvk
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