Draw Near To Him
Luke 19:1-6 NKJV
1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.
4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
Zacchaeus is too short to be able to catch sight of Jesus. Crowds of people are blocking him. But this is not enough to stop him. His earnest desire and his determination drive him to go all out. He decides he has to quickly run ahead and climb up a tree so that he is in that position where he can see Jesus.
All of us, at one point or another, are like Zacchaeus. We face various limitations and encounter different obstacles in seeking Jesus. While Zacchaeus’s short physical build poses a hindrance for him, our doubt, disbelief or despair often blocks us out from Jesus, His Word and His truth. Zacchaeus is challenged by the huge throng of people who are crowding him out of the scene where Jesus is. For you and me, our various tasks and responsibilities or opposition from others could be what are deterring us from being in the presence of the Lord.
There is something we can learn from Zacchaeus, and that is refusing to subject ourselves to the constraints that hinder us from coming before our Lord Jesus. Too short? I will climb up a tree, Zacchaeus thinks to himself. Too crowded? I will get away and above the crowd, Zacchaeus determines to himself. Zacchaeus is desperate to see Jesus, he is serious about seeking after Him. This is the other valuable lesson we learn from Zacchaeus.
Is your passion to seek Jesus bigger than the hustle and bustle of life, and the temptation and distraction of the world?
Will you be humble enough to acknowledge you really need Jesus and go all out to seek Him?
You and I must learn to get away from what is stopping us from seeking Jesus, and climb some trees. The tree to climb for some of us may be to daily dwell in His Word, for others, it could be working on our prayer life, getting ourselves back into church or starting to serve God with our time and resources.
Zacchaeus’ earnest desire and effort to see Jesus is more than satisfied. Jesus notices him even before he says anything. Jesus calls out to Zacchaeus to come to Him immediately, and wants to dwell in his house that very day.
This must have had such a huge impact on Zacchaeus. He must have been despised and overlooked many times in life, not just because of his short physical stature but also because of his status as a chief tax collector. During Jesus’ days, tax collectors were much hated and scorned because they worked for the foreign Rome government and they amassed great wealth through dishonest means of overcharging their own countrymen in taxes. Such was the reputation of Zacchaeus. Yet, while even at an obscure place up on a tree, Zacchaeus was lovingly noticed and warmly welcomed by Jesus who even called him by his name without him even having to introduce himself.
Zacchaeus probably hopes to only catch a glimpse of Jesus whom he has heard so much about. But this day, Jesus comes to dwell in his house and he comes to know Jesus personally and this, changes everything.
My friends, seek Jesus and draw near to Him. When Jesus finds you doing that, He always makes the first move to meet with you, dwell with you and eat with you.
God promises in His Word –
James 4:8 NKJV
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…
Let us pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for those times when I have allowed my circumstances or emotions to drown me out and cause me to lose sight of You. Lord, I thank You that even during those moments, You have never lost sight of me but were waiting for me to come back into Your presence. Thank You, Lord, that when I seek You and draw near to You, You will surely meet me right where I am with Your love and grace. Holy Spirit, help me to always have my passion for Jesus burn strongly so that nothing and no one will ever deter me from coming before His throne and into His presence. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”