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Do You Want to See Jesus Christ?

by David A. DePra

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of

unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for

mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 6:6)

     People glibly talk about seeing God, or seeing Jesus Christ. But

in the Bible, every time people caught a glimpse of God, the

reaction was the same: They felt undone. Some of them practically

died. The apostle John almost did:

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. (Rev. 1:17)

     Natural thinking might tell us that FEAR was the reason for these

kinds of reactions. We might suppose that Isaiah saw a God who

was so mighty in His wrath towards men, that it caused him to say

he was "undone." And when John saw Jesus Christ, we might

again suppose that fear caused him to fall down at His feet. After

all, how many of us would like to stand in the literal presence of God

Almighty of heaven? Of Jesus Christ? That would be scary, would

it not?

     Well, first of all, we can be sure that FEAR had nothing to do with

the reactions we find in these cases. John writes in his first epistle

that "God is love." He also says that "perfect love casts out fear."

     So when John stood in the presence of God, he stood in the

presence of THE Love which casts out fear. The result was that

fear was "cast out," not incited. Fear is never the result of seeing

Jesus Christ.

     So what happened? Well, Isaiah and John stood in the presence

of absolute love, holiness, and perfection. Thus, their reaction is

not one of fear, but of awe and reverence. In effect, what these guys

saw was not too terrible for them to bear. It was too wonderful for

them to bear.

     If I were to stand in the presence of eternal holiness, what would

that do to me? It would expose me as being UNholy.

     This is what Isaiah was saying. When Isaiah saw God, it showed

him how unclean he was, and how unclean everyone was. It was a

vision which left him realizing that he was nothing. God was


     If you want to SEE Jesus Christ -- if you want to KNOW Him -- this

is going to happen to you. You will see Jesus Christ -- His holiness

and His glory. But you will also see everything else that goes with

such a vision -- including a vision of yourself as that of a lost, needy


     But actually, why is this news? Isn't that the message of the

gospel? Isn't growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ

a matter of seeing how great He is? And of how needy I am?

     You see, when all is said and done, all of our teachings, and all

of our doctrines, and all of our theories, are secondary. They are

but tools -- written or verbal expressions. If they are of the Truth,

then they all really point to one thing: Seeing the Living Jesus



     Here is the point: Jesus Christ is a Living Person. So even

though we must use teachings and doctrines to explain things about

Him, and to put our beliefs down on paper in an orderly fashion,

Jesus Christ is not a "doctrine." He is not a "teaching." He is a


     If I gave you a detailed description of a friend of mine, and told

you about his character, and about what he has done in life, you

would have lots of facts about him. True facts, too. But would you

really KNOW him? No. That's because you have to see and meet

someone to know them. In fact, you have to LIVE with them. And

NOTHING can replace that.

     God has not merely given us doctrines to believe in. He has

not simply handed us a list of teachings and told us to parrot them.

He has not brought us religion. No. God has given us HIMSELF --

in His Son. And He has come down to live in us.

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep

my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,

and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

     This may seem so obvious to some, but forgetting this is the

reason much of the church is off the track today. Instead of a

living Person, we have only a description of Him: Doctrines and


     Now this does not mean that the doctrines and the teachings

are unnecessary. No. They are essential and have great value.

But they cannot replace the Living Person. We must not turn them

into a substitute for HIM.

     Anyone can agree to a list of doctrines. But only if you meet the

Living Christ are YOU changed forever. And we have seen how

this takes place. First, you see how unholy you are. How needy

you are. Then, at the same time, you see how great He is. How

much He loves you.

     Now again -- notice WHY you see this. NOT because you

merely agree with a doctrine that says Jesus is holy, or one which

says you are not. You see this Truth because you see HIM!

The Light

     There is a two-fold effect of seeing Jesus Christ. They go

together: You see how great He is. But in the same light, you see

how needy you are.

     I'll bet you have never heard that seeing yourself as a sinner is

the result of seeing Jesus Christ. You have probably heard that

seeing yourself as a sinner is a separate thing. Well, there are a

number of ways to describe seeing yourself in the light of Christ:

The conviction of the Holy Spirit, etc. God can and does use many

tools to expose us as sinners. But when all is said and done, we

can only see who we are if we see who He is.

     This only makes sense once you realize Jesus is the LIGHT of

the world. In the Light everything is made manifest, or exposed for

what it is. He is also The Truth. When I see the personification of

all Truth in front of me, it pretty much exposes everything which is a

lie. This is why Paul was able to say:

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who

both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make

manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have

praise of God. (I Cor. 4:5)

     Pivotal to embracing Christ as Saviour is seeing that I am a lost

sinner. I have to see I need a Saviour or I am not likely going to

embrace the Saviour. But notice how we often approach this fact

today: Instead of introducing people to Jesus Christ, we threaten

them. We say, "Believe and receive Christ or else God will send

you to hell!"

     We focus in on the fact we are sinners and pound it to death. We

threaten people, make them feel worthless, and leave them laying

in a pool of blood. We, in effect, try to coherce them into accepting

Christ by inciting fear in them. We stampede them into the kingdom

of God -- not because we say that there is anything GOOD about

Jesus -- but simply to escape the bad consequences of NOT

receiving Christ.

     Now, don't misunderstand. We ARE sinners. And we must see it.

This MUST be preached without compromise. But what I am talking

about here is the kind of preaching about sin which carries with it

no real redemption. Just a tirade against sin which does not follow

through in a redemptive way. "Believe in Jesus, or else!" is NOT

the gospel.

     Of course, there IS another approach which has become

popular. We don't so much threaten people and incite fear, as we

promise them things IF they will accept Christ. We promise them

miracles, gifts, healings, and money. We tell them all about what

God will do for them, if they will just get on board "His salvation

bandwagon." But then we DO eventually turn up the volume with

the threats, by warning people that they will lose all these blessings

if they don't accept Christ.

     The gospel is NOT that God will do stuff for you. It is not that God

will give stuff to you. The gospel is that God will give HIMSELF to

you. And when a person sees Jesus, they realize how much they

need Him.

     Note the common denominator of error: Appealing to people's

fear and selfishness. Motivating people through religious cohersion.

The fact is, if you use a big enough "whip" you can get anyone to do

almost anything. Including accept Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.

     There are REASONS WHY the church is in the sad shape it is in

today. And at the center of those reasons is the fact that we have

forgotten that all of these methods and ploys and games cannot

substitute for the only solution that works; for the only solution that is

real. And what is that solution? People need to SEE JESUS. They

need to see Jesus for themselves.

Beholding the Beauty of the Lord

     Let's ask: Do you suppose that if people actually saw Jesus

Christ for themselves -- with no games, ploys, threats, or religious

gimmicks to clutter it up -- that maybe, must maybe, Jesus Christ is

attractive enough that people would want Him? Do you think that

maybe God Almighty is desirable enough in His own right that He

doesn't need us to do anything except point people to Him?

     Read what Jesus said:

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (Jn.


     That makes it about as easy as it gets. Lift up Jesus Christ. And

if we do, He'll do the drawing. But notice Jesus' choice of words.

He doesn't say He will herd us to Himself or stampede us there

under threat of punishment. No. He will DRAW us. There must be

something very attractive about Jesus Christ for Him to be able to

do that.

     The Psalmist thought so.

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may

dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the

beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. (Ps. 27:4)

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs

yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh

cry out for the living God. Yeah, the sparrow has found an house,

and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,

even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (Ps. 84:


As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after

thee, Oh God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when

shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2)

     The fact of the matter is, if you and I were able to catch just a

glimpse of Jesus Christ, we would be addicted immediately. We

would see our desperate need, and we would see that He is

everything we have ever wanted.

Seeing Ourselves

     When we see Jesus Christ, we see that we are unholy, unclean,

and have nothing about ourselves which can stand in His presence.

This isn't something which God does to us. It is the way it is. The

Light and Truth found in Christ is merely, at that point, exposing us

for what we are.

     The good news is that this is OK. Not that sin is OK. But being

nothing is OK. This is because once we see this, we are then able

to embrace the free gift which God has provided in His Son. We

are able to move forward reliant and dependent upon Jesus Christ.

     Herein we see the real definition of true humility. True humility is

not the product of condemning myself. It is not the product of

obeying Bible principles, or of submitting to authority. It is not the

product of giving up my rights, or of refusing to assert myself. It is

not the product of acting humble. True humility is the result of one

thing, and one thing only: Seeing Jesus Christ. In effect, I become

small in my own eyes only if I see how great He is.

     We MUST understand this. Seeing Jesus Christ is the only

thing which will give me a proper perspective. Otherwise, I will be

comparing myself to some other standard, and deciding through

that comparison that I am humble or I am not.

     Actually, if I am truly humble, I am not going to be preoccupied

with the question. My focus will be upon Christ, not upon myself.

Again, I must see Him. When I do, it is amazing how I am able to

find perspective on so many other things.

     When a person sees Jesus Christ, they will have no doubt as to

whether they are a sinner. They will see a vision of themselves that

words, teachings, and Bible verse can only suggest. It will be a

vision that will cause them to fall "at HIS feet, as dead." But they will

not be left there. Note what happened next to John:

And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am

the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold,

I am alive for evermore. (Rev. 1:17-18)

     Seeing Jesus Christ means we see the "whole package." That

means that we will not only see ourselves in His Light, and that will

be a terrible vision of hopelessness. But at the same time we will

see that His right hand is upon us. He is the answer and our

Saviour. He will say, "Fear not. I am He that lives."

     The result of seeing Jesus Christ should be true Christian

conversion. Once I see Him, and see that I am desperately in

need, I will realize how deeply I have sinned against God through

unbelief. I will recognize that I have been blind to my condition and

have, through hardness of heart, NOT "come to Him that I may have

life." (see Jn. 5:40) This should result in repentance.

     Now notice: The FIRST thing I must repent of is what? Various

sins? No. Jesus has already taken these away by His Blood. I

must repent of UNBELIEF -- of not believing that He has taken away

my sin. I must repent of NOT coming to Jesus, but perhaps of trying

to heal what ails me through other means. But once I do repent of

unbelief and come to Jesus, then I will begin doing what? I'll begin

BELIEVING. And that means I'll discover His forgiveness of sin.

And I'll learn to walk in deliverance from sin.


There was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among

the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who

he was. (Luke 19:2-3)

     This man Zacchaeus found himself interested in Jesus. We can

be sure that this was of God. For Jesus said, "No man can come to

Me except the Father who sent Me draw him." (John 6:44) This man

Zacchaeus thought it was his idea to be there that day. But it was

God's idea.

     Zacchaeus was "of little stature." The symbolism here is almost

too obvious. It seems that only when we are THAT in our own eyes,

that we start wanting to see Jesus.

     Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a good view. He made an

effort. This, in turn, enabled Jesus to see him. And what comes

next is amazing: Jesus invites himself to Zacchaeus' house. There

is nothing forced here. Zacchaeus was CHIEF among the evil and

dishonest publicans. He knew he was guilty of much. Yet he did

not hesitate to say YES to Jesus Christ.

     We DO have choices to make in life. If we want to see Jesus,

there is going to come a time when Jesus takes us at our word. He

will express His desire to come into our life. It is at that point that we

must either say YES or NO.

     The penalty for saying NO is that Jesus will honor our free will.

He won't come home with us. Be careful what you say NO to God

about. He may judge you worthy of your choice.

     The Pharisees were not too happy about Jesus entering the

home of a sinner. Self-righteous people usually aren't. Those who

are self-righteous have no frame of reference for Jesus seeking

out the lost. They always think He is affirming the conduct of the

lost by associating with them.

     We have to get something straight here. We are NEVER to

affirm or condone sin. Not actively or passively. We are never to

make ourselves part of the sins of others. But Zacchaeus was

LOST. He was not someone who was trying to use Jesus for a

credential. He was not trying to validate his conduct by getting

Jesus to enter his home. If that were the case, Jesus would NOT

have entered. But Zacchaeus was SEEKING Jesus. He wanted

to SEE him. That puts things in an entirely different category.

     There is a principle here we need to learn. If someone is trying

to use you to validate their sin and unbelief, don't let them. Don't

associate with them when this is the motive. It isn't love to do so.

But if someone is truly seeing help -- wants to see Jesus -- then

open the door wide. God would never close it. Neither should we.

Someone who is LOST doesn't know where they are. Thus,

Jesus wasn't affirming the conduct of Zacchaeus by entering his

home. He went there to save him.

     We see in this a basic principle of what happens when Jesus

begins to come to us. He lays down no conditions BEFORE He will

come to our home. Zacchaeus did not have to run home and clean

up before Jesus would come. Zacchaeus did not have to quit his

job as publican before Jesus would talk to him. No. Rather than

require Zacchaeus to clean up his act before Jesus would come,

we find Zacchaeus cleaning up his act as the RESULT of Jesus

coming. It is always that way.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the

half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from

any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus

said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch

as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to

seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:8-10)

     We know nothing of what Jesus said to Zacchaeus that day. But

Jesus certainly did not tell him that he was free to continue in sin.

After all, we find Zacchaeus forsaking sin as the outcome of Jesus'

visit. Indeed, the result of seeing Jesus Christ that day was that

Zacchaeus saw himself as a sinner. And salvation came to his

house. Of course it did. Jesus came to his house!

     Now notice closely the statement Jesus makes at the end of

this account. It is actually a rebuke to the Pharisees. He says, "The

Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost." THIS is

the heart of God.

     Most of us have been taught that Jesus came to CONDEMN the

lost. No. He wants to seek and to save the lost. God is a


     Zacchaeus wanted to SEE JESUS. He did see Him. And the

result was that he saw himself, forsook his sinful ways, and

embraced salvation. ALL of this of his own free will. No cohersion.

No threats. No religious games. No bargins. Just plain, old-

fashioned honesty. Zacchaeus saw the Truth. He responded to it.

     Again we see a great Truth that has been completely distorted

today by many people. Repentance of sins is NOT "required" before

we come to Christ. NO. We come solely by grace. But repentance

of sins will RESULT from coming to Jesus.

     Ask yourself the question: If you must repent of sins BEFORE

you are allowed to come to Jesus, what do you have to work with?

Remember, you are still apart from Jesus. You aren't yet allowed

to come to Him. You must repent independent of Him. THEN, and

only then, can you come to Him. How will you ever be sure you

repented of ALL your sins?  Or if you repentance is real?

     The fact is, you can't even see your sin until it is exposed by the

Light of HIM. You have to come to Him first, just as you are, and

He will bring you to see your sins, and you will then be able to

confess them and forsake them.

     But -- there is one sin we must repent of BEFORE we come to

Jesus. Yep. Just one. Do you know what it is? The one sin we

must repent of before we come to Jesus is this: We must repent of

THE SIN of refusing to come to Jesus! Unbelief.

     Do you see that? It is unbelief that we need to repent of. Then, if

we do, we will come to Jesus. And then we will find conviction, and

find forgiveness, and freedom, from ALL SINS by His Redemption.

Another Jesus

     The body of Christ has a responsibility to show people Jesus

Christ. People need to see Jesus. But what Jesus are they seeing

today? In our churches? In our individual lives? Are they seeing

the real Jesus Christ? Or "another Jesus?"

     There is "another Jesus," you know. Paul wrote about him to the

Galatians. He wrote about "another Jesus" and "another gospel."

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through

his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity

that is in Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom

we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have

not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, you

might well bear with him. (II Cor. 11:3-4)

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel

unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be

accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man

preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let

him be accursed. (Gal. 1:8-9)

     Does this sound like God is happy with today's liberal theology?

Does it sound like it matters what we believe? What we teach?

What we preach? I've got news: It does matter. Those who are

today preaching and teaching had better understand that

according to the apostle Paul, they have NO BUSINESS being

wrong about Jesus Christ, and about the gospel. It is a serious

matter. Paul said, "Let them be accursed."

     To preach "another Jesus" means to misrepresent His nature

and His character. It means to portray Him in ways that make Him

out to be a different Person than He really is. It means to distort His

motives and His purpose. To preach "another gospel" means to

misrepresent what God has done through Him.

     What all this adds up to is this: People need to SEE JESUS. We

had better be pointing them toward the right One. We had better be

lifting up the True One, so that He can draw all people to Himself.

The "Scary" Prayer

     If you want to see Jesus, it will happen. But there is a place to

start. You can start by praying what I would call the "scary prayer."

It is a prayer of absolute and unconditional surrender to God. I

pray, "Whatever it takes, Lord, do it, that I might see Jesus." That

prayer is scary only if you don't know God. It is always scary to

surrender to God. That's because He will take you at your word.

     Now, don't pray this prayer unless you mean it. That's because

if you do mean it, God will answer. He will begin to show you His

Son, Jesus Christ. And as mentioned, this will mean that you will

also see yourself. That is going to evoke great change and


     The term "unconditional surrender" -- as it pertains to God -- is

actually redundant. In other words, UNCONDITIONAL surrender

to God is the ONLY KIND THERE IS. You cannot surrender to God

half-way. That is not surrender at all. It is actually self-deception.

God wants us to see Jesus more than we want to see Him. God

wants us to surrender more than we want it. Thus, what is holding us

back? We need to surrender to God today.

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