It Happened in Jericho

blind beggarby Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International

Luke 18:31-43  – Here Luke explains how Jesus took time to make clear to his disciples what was ahead of them (vs.31-34) and then the narrative continues with an encounter Jesus had with a beggar by the side of the road as they made their way to Jericho.  (vs.35- 43) One conclusion you’ll come to with your family by the time you end this study is an understanding that there is more than one kind of blindness. But that may be jumping ahead of ourselves.

ENGAGE: If you’re using the film version of Luke, cue up this portion and have it ready to watch.  Find the verses in versions of Scripture your family members use and read aloud Luke 18:31-43 at least twice.  With open participation, allow everyone time to see that you’re visiting two settings and discovering what Jesus did with two different groups of followers. Make sure everyone realizes that Jesus is beginning His final days of ministry, especially in the first incident where he talks with His closest friends, His disciples.

EXPLORE:

  • Perhaps a simple question/answer time will help explore the first story.  Was this an open teaching time, or a private one?  What emotions would be evident from the disciples who ‘did not know what Jesus was talking about?’  Some role playing would fit here as one person takes the part of Jesus and the rest react the way they think the disciples did.  How do you think Jesus felt knowing that He didn’t get his point across?  What do you think it means that ‘it was hidden from them’?
  • The second story lends itself to acting (human or puppets) especially if you don’t have the film version to view.  You could discuss the question Jesus asked the blind beggar in vs. 41.  Does it strike you as a bit odd?  Why, or why not?  What responses came from the beggar when he was healed and from ‘all the people’?    Luke makes it clear that ordinary people enthusiastically acknowledged that God was responsible for the miracle. Why was it important that this helped many to see who Jesus was?

EXPERIENCE:  Here are some suggestions to choose from.  You will probably think of others, as well.

  • Create two word maps. In the center of one page, print: SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS, and in the center of another print: PHYSICAL BLNDNESS.  Fill in the blank space around the printed words with associated words, ideas, phrases, illustrations.  Come together and share your observations noting what was similar and what was different between them.
  • If it was important for the beggar to own his own needs, specifically, does this give us a clue as to what Jesus wants us to own up to when we come to Him for help? Why?
  • Encourage family members to create/share a drawing, some prose or poetry, a drama…
  • Let someone volunteer to wear a blindfold and share with the others a personal need he would bring to Jesus if he were the beggar. Let others agree with him that Jesus can heal him and as he removes the blindfold, pray a prayer of praise or thanksgiving. (This takes a good measure of comfort/trust within the group, so don’t be surprised if some are reluctant to participate.  It’s always all right to say ‘pass’ when it’s someone’s turn.)

EMBRACE JESUS: Try to set aside enough time to give room for Jesus to speak to you as a family and as individuals.  Your Family-time Journal is important here.  Be sure to let someone record significant things to remember from this session.  As parents, if you sense that someone has need for further counsel, set an appointment, or revisit with your observation or concern at a later time.

One idea for sharing Jesus with others:  Physical and spiritual blindness is all around us.  It is present in our world at large.  See if you can find ministries or people who bring Jesus to blind people and find a way to come alongside them to help. Perhaps you’ll bring Jesus to someone you know who has a need for His healing touch.

NOTE:  Next time we’ll actually arrive in Jericho and meet one of the New Testament’s most familiar and, possibly, most colorful characters.  See you then.

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