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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: Matthew 6:33
By Clyde Blakely


Morning sun illuminates eyelids rousing the sleepless man from his bed.

Taxes! How I hate my job: tax collector for the enemy of my people. Rejected before the Romans came and rejected still. At least I have a job and wealth, that’s more than I had before they came. But today is the worst of all my scheduled rounds.

At the first stop he is tempted to pay the tax himself, “Blind Bartimaeus, feels like stealing from a blind man, yet HE had a job before I did: begging. I couldn’t beg to get a job, I was too small, too weak, and being told to ‘grow up’ and they’d hire me. Laughed at everyday but no one laughs at me now.”

Turning the corner, he hesitates. The rundown home and yard of the blind man has been fixed up; it's immaculate! Either someone helped Bartimaeus fix it, or else he died.

Nearing the door, it opens and reveals a well dressed man smiling. “Excuse me; do you know where I can find Bartimaeus?”

“Zacchaeus, it’s good to see you. Real good to see you.”

“I don’t believe I know you. How did you know my name?”

“I recognized your voice Zacchaeus. It’s good to SEE you.”

“Bartimaeus!? Is that you?”

“It’s me, my friend. I’ve been healed!”

“What? I mean, how?”

“Jesus of Nazareth. He restored my sight, and my life. He was the first person I ever saw and will be the first person I see after I die. Have you seen Him?”

“Well…no, I haven’t.” Lost in thought, he turns to leave.

“Did you need anything Zacchaeus? Zacchaeus?”

“Umm, no. I’ll talk to you later.” I’ve heard of him, this Jesus.

Now at Mary and Martha’s, he’s brought back to reality by the joyous singing coming from inside. How can they be celebrating when their brother died last week? They should be in mourning. I was going to be easy on them but not now! Full taxes or prison!

Pounding on the door, red faced with rage at this callous emotional display.

Seeing a dead-ringer for Lazarus appear, stepping back a gasp escapes. “Zacchaeus, won’t you come in and celebrate with us?”

“Lazarus? I heard you were dead. I didn’t go to your funeral because…I mean, this is you Lazarus, isn’t it?”

“None other. I heard it was quite a service.”

“So you didn’t die?”

“I was dead for four days.”

“But you are standing here, in front of me, as healthy as ever.” Mary and Martha join Lazarus placing their arms around their dearly returned brother.

“Jesus called me back to life. He will be coming here to visit sometime soon, perhaps today. Would you care to wait and join in some hymns with us?”

He’d never been invited into anyone’s home before. Zacchaeus is not quite sure what to do. Wanting to come in leaves him in a quandary. “Uh, no, I might come back later. Thank you though.”

“Sure, we’d love to have you.”

“Perhaps later. Thank you again.” ‘Love to have you.’ What’s going on? Jesus; how I’d like to see Him.

Distracted from collecting taxes by the morning’s events, he’s barely aware of a crowd forming along both sides of the street ahead.

“What is going one?”

“Jesus of Nazareth is coming this way; we want to at least get a glimpse of Him.”

A glimpse of Him? Why, I’d want to meet Him and talk to Him and…why wait here? I’ll move further up and perhaps…no, He wouldn’t want to talk to me, but at least I’d be able to see Him.

Running ahead he finds the crowd getting thicker and beginning to shout, “Hosanna, Jesus, blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!”

What do I do? Spotting a nearby tree, he climbs up, balancing on a branch. There He is, right under me.

“Zacchaeus, come down for today I dine in your house.”

That moment, Zacchaeus is offered eternal treasures beyond his imagination.

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This article has been read 398 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
This is a great retelling of that verse. You brought it to life and I enjoyed picturing what his day might have been like. (Though now I do have that old Sunday School song stuck in my head!:)

I paused for a minute when he mentioned to Lazazus that he wasn't at his service and wondered if they had funerals back then. But that's no biggie.

You did a nice job of grabbing me from the beginning and holding me to the end.
Theresa Santy 05/03/12
I enjoyed the richness of character you put into these people! It is a familiar tale, yet you held me in suspense. I knew the tax collector would be scaling that tree, yet you made me yearn for it, delighting in every step that led this moment.

Marina Rojas05/03/12
This narrative is just delightful! I love how the Bible stories are intertwined to form one lovely, happy path leading to Jesus Christ!

I enjoyed how the characters worked together to point to the riches added to their lives by our Lord!
C D Swanson 05/04/12
I really loved this whole thing. A very clever entry and I so enjoyed reading it.

Thank you. GOd Bless~
Linda Goergen05/05/12
Great job, you brought the bible story alive and gave us a “personal” look at Zacchaeus’s day…on the day he discovered what true riches were. Enjoyed the read very much.
Hiram Claudio05/07/12
What a rich and wonderfully fresh perspective you brought to this familiar bible story. I could see it fully illustrated and in a Sunday School lesson - giving a fresh new connection to all ages. Nice job!
Leola Ogle 05/09/12
Wonderful rendition of this great story. I loved it! Well written and enjoyable to read. God bless!
Edmond Ng 05/10/12
You've made this biblical story vividly memorable. Nice touch!