Copyright 2018 - Custom text here
Player needs JavaScript turned on.

 

Seeking for Jesus

 

“When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.” (Jn. 6:24.)

 

Today I want to talk about the needs that men have in “Seeking for Jesus.” It seems that much of the world, at one time or another, has gone about looking for Jesus. We read in Jn. 12:20-21, “20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: 21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” Wherever Jesus Christ went, He encountered persons that sought Him out. Here, in the heart of Judea, even these strangers that were Greeks wanted to find Jesus. His popularity was (and is) undeniable. Men in His time knew who He was. And, even in our day and time, men know the Name of Jesus Christ.

 

However, I believe that some seek Jesus for the wrong reasons. Or, some seek someone or something as a substitute for Jesus. It saddens me to say, yet many of the people who claim to be Christian, do not really know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They have come to the place that they are – acknowledged as Christians by the world around them – when all along they were only seeking to quench some inner desire for peace, or some motivation for recognition as good and godly in the sight of the world, or some inner quest to achieve a worldly repentance and to be recognized in a positive way by others.

 

What are the reasons that people seek out Jesus Christ? Let’s consider some of the motivations that people have in Seeking for Jesus.

 

Some Come for Superficial Reasons

 

I think that the Scriptures make it plain, that many people come to Jesus, just to satisfy their own desires or lusts. Jn. 6:24-27, “24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

 

So, some folks come to Jesus Christ just so that they can have their mortal bellies filled. And, some come to Jesus just to satisfy their own curiosity. Possibly, this was the case of the Greeks that came to Philip back in Jn. 12:20. Certainly, many people are just intrigued by the Lord Jesus, or by His teachings; or they are intrigued by the followers of Jesus Christ and their teachings.

 

In Matthew chapter eleven, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to the multitudes that follow Him, and He refers them to their attitude of curiosity concerning Himself and the ministry of John the Baptist. The implication is, that the multitude went out just to see who John the Baptist was – without any intention of believing his prophecies. This same multitude would then follow Jesus Christ – not to believe Him, but just to see and behold and witness the miraculous deeds and gracious words of this Messiah. We read Jesus’ Words as He concluded these thoughts in Mt. 11:16-19. “16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” This multitude (for the most part) did not believe, they just came to Jesus to satisfy their own superficial reasons.

 

This superficial sort of pursuit of Jesus Christ is something that is very common today. Many people are curious about Jesus Christ and His teachings. Many other people are curious about what sort of power and testimony Jesus Christ and His followers might have. However, in many of these instances, the desires of the multitudes are merely superficial. They have no real desire to serve or follow Jesus Christ – but they may enjoy hearing or witnessing some account of His wondrous deeds. Many of these folks may even enjoy having their bellies filled or their minds engaged for just a little while; but their interest in Christ is only superficial.

 

Further, I believe that there are multitudes of people who only seem to seek for Jesus Christ. These are among those that I mentioned earlier – they only make a pretence of religion, through a desire to dress themselves up before the world; or through a desire to satisfy some inner desire for God’s recognition or approval; or because of the possibility that exists that there may be someone to Whom we give an account after this life, and if so, it is better to seek to balance the scales in the favor of good.

 

When I think along these lines, I am always reminded of the religiously educated Athenians, in the time of the Apostle Paul. Remember how many idols they had? Remember how diligently they sought out new things and new concepts of deity and idolatry? Remember how they even paid homage to the “Unknown God”? Well, this is not unlike the ones who are sometimes outwardly religious in our day and time. It seems that they seek out any possibility to work out or accomplish their own salvation. And, they will adopt many different approaches or methods in order to appear religious, or in order to heap up works and worth on a scale, in the hopes of satisfying whatever god might be the judge of men.

 

We need to give the true Gospel to such people. These folks need to hear about genuine repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. Salvation cannot be had by those who only superficially seek out Jesus. Salvation can only be had by those who hear the Gospel, have the Gospel applied by the power of the Holy Spirit, who then repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as their Christ and only Saviour. It is not in our “seeking” – salvation is in the “finding” of Jesus Christ.

 

Some Come for Physical Health

 

We find that the Scriptures reveal to us that many others sought out Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry, because they had desired Him to heal their bodies, or give them relief from some mortal affliction. We read of such an occasion in Mt. 8:1-4, “1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” This leper certainly exhibited some measure of faith or belief. I don’t know if he was saved at this time or not. I don’t even know if he was ever saved at all. (When you compare the Gospel accounts, you will see that this man did not obey the Lord in regards to the command tell no man.) But, in any case, this leper does stand out as an example of a man that sought out Jesus, and found relief and healing within the Power of the Christ.

 

Let me give you another example to consider: 11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Lk. 17:11-19.) In the Scriptures, leprosy is oftentimes a picture of sin. Amongst these ten sinners (lepers), there was only one that glorified the Lord. It seems that the other nine were only interested in the healing of their bodies. They had no regard for the saving qualities of the Lord and Saviour. In fact, their very actions proved that they had no regard for the salvation of their own souls!

 

This attitude of some that followed Jesus Christ, reminds me of the attitude of many today that will only seek Jesus when they have some health problems or some sickness or disease that afflicts their bodies. Why is it that people “get religion” when faced with some disease, sickness or physical injury? Why is it that people cry out to God (a God that they normally do not ever acknowledge) only when faced with death or some other catastrophe? Well, I believe that men generally have a type of inner knowledge or understanding that there must be a god. And, when faced with difficult circumstances, they may cry out to some god in the hopes that they will find some relief or some help. Since the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, the Name of Jesus Christ has spread around the world. The Name of Jesus is the first name that comes to the minds of many people, when they think of a savior or a rescuer or a source of help. In many cases and in most places the people are aware of the Name of Christ – but they may not have any desire for His Presence, except when confronted with some situation that exceeds their own strengths or abilities.

 

I want to assure you that God can – and certainly does – heal the bodies and minds of many people all around us today. I want to assure you that God can – and certainly does – protect and provide for the children of men all around the world in various ways and means. Surely such a God can protect and provide for men in time of catastrophe, danger, or hunger! But, I also want you to know that many of the folks that cry out to Him, only express a desire for Him in these strenuous situations – and afterwards, they forget God and His Goodness altogether. What a sad state of affairs that exists amongst men today! The One God that can Heal and Preserve us, has become only a “call of last resort”! I hope and pray that you and I, as the children of God in this generation, will make it plain to the world around us, that we count on God to give us health and strength – and we depend upon Him every day, not just when we are sick or injured or facing death.

 

Some Come for Salvation

 

There is one more group of “seekers” that I want to consider today: That is, the people that seek Jesus Christ as the refuge for their souls. We read of such a people in Mt. 9:1-8. “1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” Here was a man that came to Jesus seeking physical health. But, I think that both he and those that carried his bed, came to Jesus seeking so much more. I think they came to Jesus seeking salvation! Perhaps, this man sick of the palsy did not even come for physical healing at all. Or at least, perhaps the main reason these others are bearing his bed, is because he needed them to bear him into the presence of Jesus Christ so that he could seek the forgiveness of his sins! Surely the Words of Jesus would reinforce this understanding of this passage: Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee! Sure, it is important to turn to Jesus Christ for physical health, and sustenance during our stay here on this earth. But, to manifest faith in Jesus Christ – not just in mortal affairs, but in the saving of our souls – this is the greatest of gifts! These men knew Who Jesus was, and it seems that the Holy Spirit had given them an idea of what He was capable of. Therefore, when they came to Him, I believe they sought for more than just the departure of the palsy from the sick man; I believe they sought Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of their sins.

 

I can assure you today, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. If you are not a sinner – or don’t see yourself as such – it does you no eternal good to seek for Jesus. I can also certainly assure you today, that Jesus Christ came as the Great Physician to heal the sin-sick, give life to the dead, and to give new hope to the dying. If you don’t see yourself as sin-sick, dead, and without hope of ever saving yourself, then it does not good for you to seek Jesus. He is the Light for the lost. The Life for the dead. The Ransom for the enslaved. He is the Hope of Salvation for the world of men.

 

Let me give you the account of a man in the Gospels that sought Jesus Christ for salvation: 35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.” (Lk. 18:35-43.) Truthfully, it would be wonderful to see more folks today seek Jesus Christ with this attitude of repentance. Sadly, many folks today come to Jesus Christ without a thought for their own sins! How can one properly and Scripturally come to Jesus Christ without first confessing one’s sins? Notice that this poor blind man cried out to Jesus Christ, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me! We are all of us sinners. Every one of us stands condemned in the Sight of our Holy God. If Jesus Christ is not the Fountain of Mercy and the Forgiveness of Sins, then why should we seek Him out? If He can only heal our bodies in this life; or if He can only satisfy our curiosity and entertain our minds in this life; then what is the point or the eternal benefit of coming to Him? But, thankfully, in the time of Jesus Christ – and in our day today – there are many that come to Jesus Christ for Salvation. Praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit has shown me my sins, and has directed my path to the only Saviour known to man – Jesus Christ.

 

Conclusion

 

In reality, men ought to seek out Jesus Christ for all of their needs. We read the Words of the Lord Jesus as He preached to His disciples concerning their needs that they had after the flesh: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33.) If you read the context surrounding this passage, you will find that the Lord is telling his disciples that they ought not to be overly concerned about the needs that they might have after the flesh. Even the needs that we have for food, shelter, and clothing – as necessary as they are – ought not to overly distress us. Our God and Saviour knows that we must have these needs fulfilled, if we are to remain here on this earth. Therefore, since He is aware of the needs that we have, let us seek Him out first. Let us seek the good and the prosperity of the Kingdom of God, and then we can be sure that Christ will pour out these other gifts upon us!

 

It seems apparent that you and I should be turning to Jesus Christ for our every need. Whether we have a particular need in the flesh; or, whether we have a physical need concerning the health of our bodies; or, whether we have a spiritual need concerning the salvation and well-being of our own souls; whatever the need might be, we can find the answer and the solution in the Person and the Work of Jesus Christ.  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19.)

 

Search

f t g m