Luke 19 contains an account of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. There are several powerful lessons one can derive from this chapter; as I was reading this morning one problem and one solution stuck out to me the most.
The problem is being able to see Jesus.
In the passage there are two occasions where people had difficulty seeing Jesus because of a "parade," if you will. The first involved a short man named Zacchaeus, and the second was the crowd on the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
They cannot see Jesus and this, for discipleship to happen, is a must. For it is in seeing Jesus that we finally see truth. Truth about life, reality, and ourselves. Again, this is vital for everyone.
The solution comes to us in two parts. First for individuals and then for the church.
1: Individuals who desire to see Jesus, must place themselves in a situation that will allow them to see him best. As in this passage, solitude is typically the best place - Zacchaeus climbed up the tree, away from the crowd.
The crowd often skews our vision of Jesus, so it is best to separate from them for a spell; perhaps to read through the gospels and pray, and allow a clearer picture of Jesus to flood your mind. But this is something you or I must do. It won't be done for us.
2: The church (those people who are disciples of Jesus) is responsible for helping those who can't see Jesus get a better view by lifting him up, but this only happens through obedience to the word of Jesus. In the second passage his disciples were asked to go and do something unusual; namely, take a colt that didn't belong to them so Jesus could ride on it. The obedience in this act caused Jesus to be able to sit at an elevated position as he rode into town. Now all the Zacchaeus' of the world could see him clearer than before.
There are several people desirous of an encounter with Jesus, but they cannot see him because of the crowd and their lack of intent, and sometimes because the church is not lifting him up, as she should.