Just think of the Samaritan on the Road to Jericho. Just one man. Not an important man. Not a huge organisation with a complex plan of action to help all the needy in the world. But a man who had mercy on one who others had walked past. A man who took care of someone who otherwise would have had no care.
On Jericho Road, a man fell among thieves, was beaten, robbed and left half dead. A Levite and a priest passed him by, on the other side. People you would think should stop, look and help. But they had bigger fish to fry. Finally, a certain Samaritan had compassion, took the poor stranger to an inn, and saw to his care. Not just first aid on the roadside, payment for his wellbeing until he was well… a generous helping hand in a time of need.
On another occasion, Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, when they came upon “blind Bartimaeus. . .[who] sat by the highway side begging.” As this blind man sat by the wayside, on Jericho Road, he heard about Jesus and cried out persistently. Jesus called to him, restored his vision, and then he saw Jesus. Not just mercy for those inflicted with the consequences of a sinful world, but the word of life for eternal salvation.
And finally, it was on the road to Jericho that Zacchaeus, who was an outcast “climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.” He too had already heard about Jesus, but now he desired to see Jesus. This lost sinner, climbed that tree to see Jesus, on the road to Jericho.
The road to Jericho was a place of great risk, great vulnerability… there were thieves and robbers and many things that could go wrong… and it was a place where Jesus spoke of great mercy and he himself demonstrated great mercy to those in need, both physically and spiritually.