“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33 ESV)
This Sunday, the Lord solidified a concept that’s been rolling around in my head for a couple of months. That’s why I’m interrupting my series on Philippians 2:2. I’ll finish, I promise. But this is what’s on my heart right now.
Matthew 28 tells the story of the Resurrection. First, let me set the stage. Jesus had been crucified. Public sentiment and the government were against him. His followers were fearful, uncertain what the future now held. Early that Sunday morning, the women went in search of Christ. They could have stayed the men, but, instead, they ventured out, looking for their Lord. And something wonderful happened. They witnessed the rolling away of the stone. Then, they met with the risen savior himself!
Mark 5 recounts the story of a woman with an issue of blood. According to the law, she was ceremonially unclean. That meant she couldn’t enter the temple or touch other people. She had suffered this for twelve years. Could you imagine not receiving human touch for twelve years? How lonely she must have been. Beyond that, she’d paid all her money to physicians, who made her condition worse. When she heard Jesus was coming, she knew he held the answer. She pushed through the crowd seeking him, not caring about the law or the consequences. She cast aside all fear to pursue him. And something wonderful happened. She received healing, and Jesus praised her faith.
In Luke 19, we read about Zacchaeus. This short man wanted to see Jesus but couldn’t see above the crowd. He didn’t let that stop him from seeking the Lord. Climbing a nearby tree, he had an unobstructed view. And something wonderful happened. Jesus invited himself to dinner at Zacchaeus’s house.
Lastly, there’s the Prodigal Son. Luke 19 shares his story. The young man, who left home, lost everything in sinful living. He’d been reduced to working for a pig farmer. He could have stayed with the pigs, but he knew his place was at home. He didn’t know what would happen when he got there. Would his family receive him or turn him away? Despite the shame of his failure, he sought out his father. And something wonderful happened. His father forgave him and celebrated his return.
So often, we have obstacles that keep us from pursuing Christ. What are your barriers? Mine might seem silly. It’s television. I’ve been drawn to the screen since childhood. Some days, I don’t find time for Jesus, but I do manage to watch several episodes of the show I’m binging. When problems overwhelm me, I escape to that fictional world instead of seeking the One with the solutions.
What about you? Like the woman with the issue of blood, do people keep you from chasing after Jesus? Are there some in your life you need to push past in order to find your Lord? Or, perhaps, you are like the Prodigal son, ashamed of your sin and afraid to journey home. Regardless of your circumstance, I urge you to shove aside, climb over, and tear down whatever keeps you from seeking Jesus Christ. When you do, you’ll find something wonderful happens.