The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11
Sometimes people who are looking to find Jesus just can't "see" him. There are also those who saw Jesus at one time in their life, but then for one reason or another they lost "sight" of him and just don't seem to be able to find him.
There is a wonderful lesson to be learned in the Word of God that would help those who want to see Jesus...
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
This crowd of people ALL wanted to see Jesus. I can imagine them crowding together along the street, pressing against one another, leaning from side to side, trying to peer around the people in front of them just to get a glimpse of the Lord the One who had been performing great signs and miracles all throughout the land.
The Crowd was in the way
But, Zacchaeus could not see Jesus because he was a short man and the crowd was in his way.
I sometimes picture Zacchaeus as the actor comedian Danny Devito. He couldn't have been much taller. I imagine Zacchaeus getting all red in the face as he is trying to get a sight of the Master. He's jumping up and down, trying to peer around the people in front of him... even under them. When suddenly, he gets a lighting bolt idea... I'll just climb a tree to see Jesus!
Similarly, sometimes we can't see Jesus because people get in our way. We allow personalities to come between us and our relationship with the Lord.
I see it time and time again with marriages. One of the spouses no longer wants to go to church so the partner stops going to church too. And then there are those who stop going to church because of someone at the church someone they can't stand, someone whom they can't see around, someone whom blocks their entire view of the Lord.
But if we want to see Jesus then we can't allow anybody to get in our way not family, not friends, not employers nor neighbors. Not even the people at church! No matter who no matter what, we must keep our eyes on Jesus.
Zaccheus ran out ahead.
In order to see Jesus, Zacchaeus ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up a sycamore tree. Zacchaeus didn't wait around for the crowds to clear. Nor did he follow the crowds hoping they would lead him to Jesus. He did not shuffle, or stroll. He RAN. Zaccheus was excited about Jesus. Zaccheus took the initiate.
Often times, people wait for others to show them the way to Jesus. Sadly, some of these people could wait a long, long time, before someone will take the time to share the Gospel with them.
Others sometimes think that they can find their way to heaven by their husband's faith, or their wife's faith, or their mother, father, brother or sister's faith. But the Bible is clear we each must work out our own salvation.
Each of us must take the initiative to meet Jesus. The thought of him should stir our souls with such excitement that we want to run to him.
Zaccheus climbed up the sycamore tree.
Zaccheus knew that if he was going to see Jesus he would have to rise above his circumstances. So, Zaccheus climbed up a tree. Perched high upon the sycamore tree he could see Jesus coming from a great distance. Can you imagine his excitement as he watched Jesus coming?
We too need to learn to rise above the circumstances that prevent us from keeping our eyes on Jesus . We need to rise above doubt, fear and negativity. We need to rise above anger, despair and defeatism. We need to climb out of our low familiar places and rise up to see Jesus.
Sometimes that means we will need to put forth a little extra effort. It might mean reading the Bible instead of watching a movie or taking time to pray instead of going to sleep. We need to rise up if we are going to see Jesus.
How did Jesus respond to Zaccheus?
Jesus saw Zaccheus.
Jesus called Zaccheus.
Jesus visited the home of Zaccheus.
What was the people's response?
The crowd muttered and complained because Jesus had gone to the home of a notorious sinner. But, remember, this is the same crowd that had prevented Zaccheus from being able to see Jesus in the first place.
Zaccheus was a Tax Collector. How many of you like tax collectors?
I'm afraid that we are all like so many tax collectors. We feel people owe us they owe us recognition, they owe us time, they owe us love, they owe us forgiveness, they owe us favors And we collect and we collect and we collect. In reality we probably have collected a whole lot more than we have ever deserved.
Oh what are we to do?
So what did Zaccheus do?
Zaccheus didn't listen to the crowd. Zaccheus kept his eyes upon Jesus. Zaccheus repented of his sins and said, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
Zaccheus immediately confessed his sins to the Lord and was willing to make amends by helping the poor and voluntarily paying back 4 times the amount of anything he owed! 4 times!!!
How many of you owe money to somebody? How many of you would be willing to pay back 4 times what you borrowed? That's 400% interest.
If you want to see Jesus, don't let anybody get in your way. Run out to find Jesus. Take the initiative. Rise above the circumstances in your life that are preventing you from getting a glimpse of the Lord. And then, keep your eyes on the Master. Listen for his voice. And when he calls... don't just listen... obey! He just may be asking to fellowship with you at your house.
To encourage you in your quest to see Jesus, I leave you with the following two scriptures. I pray that they will be a blessing to you.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.