Summary: A monologue: Bar Timaeus follows Jesus to Jersualem; in the foreground he offers his first lamb, in the backgound Jesus is crucified.
The Day of Preparation
I dreaded the announcement of the new moon. Depression gripped me. I could not face the beginning of another year of feasts and fasts excluded from the spiritual life of Israel. But what was a blind man to do? I did what I did every day. My son led me to my usual place on the side of the main road that led out of Jericho. To the north was Galilee and to the southwest was the holy city. I yearned to see Jerusalem again.
Passover over was just 14 days away (14th of Nissan). Several days later I heard a crowd of people coming down the road, at first I thought it was another one of those noisy Ishmaelite caravans headed down to Petra, the capital city of the Nabateans. But I was wrong. Although it was still to early in the month, the group sounded more and more like the waves of pilgrims that passed by me on their way to the great feasts in Jerusalem.
I began to call out for alms when someone tried to stop me. He said, “Be quiet! Jesus, the Natzorean, is coming this way!” Jesus the Natzorean… That was a prophetic term! I thought to myself, “I remember when crowds used to come down from Jerusalem to hear Zecharias’ son John preach. He was a fiery preacher. After his sermons people went into the Jordan to take a ritual bath in the living waters of the river.
John used to say, "I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11) I have heard of this Jesus. We in Jericho have heard about the miracles that Jesus performed in the Galilee. Amazing things, lepers, deaf, women and children, we even heard about a blind man who received his sight. Are you telling me this same Jesus is within the sound of my voice? Are the people really calling him Natzorean?
That was the prophetic term that Isaiah used for Messiah. “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch (netzer) from his roots will bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1) Zechariah had used the same term. He said, “Behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.” (Zechariah 3:8) It was as if a light when on in my head for, although I was physically blind, I had just received spiritual insight. Jesus was the son of David.
I began to call out, "JESUS SON OF DAVID HAVE MERCY ON ME." I was frantic. Then I heard his voice: "SON OF TIMAEUS!" (Luke 18:35-43) Jesus asked me, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And I said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately I regained my sight and began following Him on the road. (Mark 10:51-52). You can’t imagine what it was like to be blind for as long as I have been and then, when I regained my sight, I was looking straight into the face of God’s Messiah. I could not stop saying those words, “Jesus is the Son of David… Jesus is God’s Messiah!” Later when Dr. Luke wrote his account of Jesus, he honored me by letting the announcement of who Jesus really was fall from my lips. Jesus is the SON OF DAVID.
I followed Jesus to Jerusalem. It was the most amazing week. It all began with Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem on the first day of the week (Zechariah 9:9). I will never forget listening to Jesus teaching His disciples on steps leading to the Huldah gates.
I purchased my Passover lamb from the temple representative and carefully watched over it for the four days preceding the day of preparation. It was unsettling to me to discover an undercurrent of ill will towards Jesus from the leaders. I could not understand that at all.
When I inquired as to where Jesus was going to eat the Passover, it became clear that He was going to celebrate with the Essenes on Mount Zion. I knew about the Essenes because their primary village was not too far from us at Wadi Qumran. The main difference that I knew about them was that their religious calendar was different from ours. They called themselves Sons of Light and based their religious calendar on the solar year.
The Sadducees who controlled the Temple based their calendar on the moon. The Sadducees took a hard line against the Essenes and would not allow them to sacrifice their Passover lambs in the temple. As far as I knew, the Essenes did not have a lamb as a part of their Passover meal.