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We Long to Be Seen

We Long to Be Seen

Jesus sees you. He really sees you. He sees everything about you. Jesus sees you and loves you. And, because he sees you and loves you, you can live securely.

And that is the best good news ever.

The world is moving at an unprecedented pace (even, or especially, during COVID). More news, more social media, more email, more texts, more…more…more of everything – and more than we can handle.

One side effect of this increase is that many people are increasing feeling missed.

Unseen.

And this is not the way Jesus intended it to be.

I can’t sing at all, as any who have ever worshiped next to me will attest. (And this is in spite of the fact that I spent almost every Sunday night of my childhood at children’s choir.)

Mrs. Ricki, the pastor’s wife, led in Christian pageants, Easter cantatas and the memorization of the Bible through song.

Much of the Bible that got down in me as a kid came from these songs.

For many of us, when we hear the name Zacchaeus, our minds immediately go to the well-known children’s Bible song – maybe because of your own Mrs. Ricki.

Zacchaeus was a wee, little man,
And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.

The context of this familiar story is important.

Jesus was passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem. Luke’s Gospel, where the story of Zacchaeus is found, is uniquely focused on Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. The story was always about Jerusalem, Passover, and the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.

Zacchaeus meets Jesus just before this moment.

Jesus had been in Galilee preaching. He was from Galilee – in the city of Nazareth. Much of His ministry took place there and He had been back there ministering again, preaching, teaching, healing.

Then he headed to Jericho, where a wee little man climbed up a tree just to see…but not be seen. After all, he was the chief tax collector. An enemy to his own people. The story’s ultimate villain. He wanted to see the Jewish King, while remaining invisible.

I am not sure what Zacchaeus was hoping for. But, in his heart he wanted to be known. It is why when Jesus does see him, Zacchaeus hurries down and welcomes Jesus to his home.

We are all desperate to be seen. To be known.

Religion knows this about you.

Religion wants you to think you have to perform to be seen.

Do more. Say more. Perform.

The problem is that religion is never done with you.

Religion is always trying to convince you that if you try harder you can be a better version of yourself. Religion would have said to Zacchaeus, “You better change your ways and clean yourself up – then maybe Jesus will notice you.”

But while the world and religion demand you do things to be noticed, Jesus makes the first move.

Jesus moves Heaven and Earth to make himself known to the world. He moves Heaven and Earth so you will know you are seen. Jesus saw Zacchaeus. Jesus sees you. You are not unknown.

Jesus sees you. He really sees you. He sees everything about you. Jesus sees you and loves you. And, because he sees you and loves you, you can live securely.

Securely in the unconditional love of a King who sees.

Zacchaeus was a wee, little man,
And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.

But, little did Zacchaeus know, Jesus really came to town to see him.

Chris Lawson

Founder of MyBigJesus.com, husband to Merri, father to Adam, Ellie, and Zachary, and executive pastor @reynoldachurch. Lives to make Jesus famous. He enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves and UNC basketball, as well as demeaning and insulting whatever sports teams you root for. He knows a disturbing amount about television and movies.

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