Summary: It seems that Christ is not the center of the festivities. It takes an effort in our culture today to keep Jesus front and center at this time of the year. It is amazing how much Christmas is not about Jesus Christ to many. Most people do not have one s
Into: The picture in Luke chapter nineteen should be familiar to us at this time of year.
No matter where Jesus went he drew a crowd.
This time of year we see crowds as well. But it is not necessarily because Jesus is at the center. The Christmas season malls, stores, Wal-Mart, even many churches seem to draw a crowd. Even with all the Christmas Carols, the Christmas decorations, and the Christmas Cheer.
It seems that Christ is not the center of the festivities. It takes an effort in our culture today to keep Jesus front and center at this time of the year. It is amazing how much Christmas is not about Jesus Christ to many.
Think about this. Many places are putting up holiday tress. I have just one question to ask you if it is a holiday tree why do we not put it up on the 4th of july, easter, thanksgiving, and other holidays. So many times it is easier to simply hear, “we don’t want to offend.” But Christmas is about Christ.
I would like to show you four stops we can make to keep Christ Jesus center of our Christmas.
“Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was”
I. Stop number 1: Desire to see Jesus.
What do you find when you actually see Jesus?
A) He sees me Luke 19.5 “He looked up”
Many people get lost in the shuffle at Christmas time but Jesus doesn’t miss one!
People can be lost in greed, griping, poverty, power, shame and sin. But Jesus will not miss you!
B) He knows me Luke 19.5 “He said to him, Zaccheus”
1) No one had to introduce Zaccheus to Jesus
2) No one had to inform Jesus of Zaccheus past.
3) No one has to tell Jesus your name or your past.
-Jesus is the Lord who sees, who hears, who seeks, and who saves.
C) He wants me Luke 19.5 “I must stay at your house”
We can find that we matter to God. Have you ever allowed this Bible truth to sink into your heart and mind? He sees us, and knows all about us and still he wants us!! He doesn’t simply love us as a group He loves us individually.
There is no need at the Christmas season or any season to live life out on a limb without God. Zaccheus found Jesus but only because Jesus came looking for Zaccheus.
Transition: Are there roadblocks on the street called desire that need to be demolished?
· The crowd of the world can crush your desire for Christmas.
· The rush and hurry of Christmas and the attitudes of others can make us forget that Christmas is about Christ.
· The solution.
II. Stop number 2: Determine to separate from the crowd
Zaccheus “was unable” to see Jesus “because of the crowd, so he ran on ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.”
2 Corinthians 6.17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord and do not touch what is unclean and I will welcome you.”
A call to come out of the crowd! You will never be able to see the Jesus who wants you unless separate yourself from the crowd!!
1 John 2.15-17 “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
The word in the Greek for church is ekklesia. It means the called out ones.
Jesus calls us out of the crowd. Even though Zaccheus was in the tree he was still in the crowd. But when Jesus called Zaccheus out of the tree he called him out of the crowd!!
A) Jesus calls us away from the “lust of the flesh”
It speaks of extreme desires in the area of food, drugs, sex, alcohol, food, entertainment, violence, and on and on.
B) Jesus calls us away from the “lust of the eyes”
A desire to have more and more that is pleasing to the eye.
Dr. Adrian Rogers aptly states, “The stomach is not the only thing with an appetite.”
Eyes that are stuck on things of the world will have an uncontrollable appetite.
C) Jesus calls us away from the “pride of life”
This is a desire for importance.
Dr. Adrian Rogers “It was pride that turned the angel into a devil. It is pride the escorts the human peacock as he struts into hell. And it is pride that has ruined the human race and turned this world into a graveyard.’