As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem for the last time he passed through a town called Jericho.  As he did so he cured a blind man named BarTimaeus.  A little later as he was   leaving Jericho, he called a man named Zacchaeus to a deep conversion.  From this so-called “Jericho episode” (described by Luke 18: 35-43; 19: 1-10) we can learn two important things.

First, it shows that Jesus wants to bring salvation to all no matter what their economic condition (Zacchaeus was rich; BarTimaeus was poor, a beggar); no matter their physical condition (BarTimaeus was blind) or their spiritual (Zacchaeus, as a tax collector for the Romans, was considered corrupt and a sinner).

Secondly, it shows us that it is important to take initiative in our search for healing and salvation.  We can’t be timid or passive or lazy.  We don’t know what would have happened to BarTimaeus if he had just sat back quietly.  But he refused to be silenced and continued to cry out: “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.”  When Jesus ordered the blind man be brought to him he showed his faith in Jesus’ heling power and his faith was rewarded.
We don’t know what would have happened to Zacchaeus if he had not climbed that tree, if he had just let Jesus pass by. We do know that Jesus, seeing that Zacchaeus was actively seeking him, offered to come and stay with him that day.  Welcoming Jesus led to salvation.

Reflecting on the behavior of those two men prompts us to be aggressive in our search for healing.  Perhaps, aggressive isn’t exactly the right word here.  It might be better to say simply we need to be active in our search for Jesus.

There is a dilemma here.  We know it is God’s grace that heals and saves us.  We know that grace is a free gift of God.  Jesus said: “No one comes to me unless the Father draws him.”   We do not find God.  God finds us.  But God cannot find us unless we want to be found.  God respects our free will.  Unless we freely and actively open our minds and hearts to him God will not come into our lives to heal and save us.  Like those two men in the gospel we must be sure not to let Jesus just pass by,