This Week's Gospel Sermons
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May 6, 2012
Looking For Jesus
Jesus said that there would bethose who would look for Him and not find Him (John 8:21). He also taught that there would be those who would come after Him and find Him (Matthew 16:24-26). It is important to look for and find Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life. While Jesus was here upon this earth, people were constantly seeking Him for one purpose or another. The great magnetic power of Jesus has never been equaled in all the earth. Who were some of the people who looked for Jesus?
In Luke 2:8-17, at the birth of Jesus, we find that shepherds came looking for Him because they had been told that a savior was born. They came to see Him and told others about Him. If we want to have salvation from our sins, we also will have to come to Jesus because He is the only savior man has. He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). The shepherds found Him and we can find Him, too. “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17).
The Wise Men
Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus. They had heard about His birth and so they came to worship Him (Matthew 2:1-11). This was and is a worthy reason for seeking Jesus. It is true that Jesus said that God is the one to be worshipped (Matthew 4:10), but even then the very heart of the worship found in the New Testament is Jesus. Prayer is in his name (Colossians 3:17). The supper, by which Christ is to be remembered, brought the early disciples together (Acts 20:7). We should seek Jesus, too, because in Him and through Him alone can man worship God acceptably. So, if having a savior is important, and if worshiping God is important, then it is important for man to look for and find Jesus.
In John 3, we find a man by the name of Nicodemus seeking Jesus by night. We don’t know why he came by night but we know why he came to Jesus. Nicodemus came wanting to learn, and he certainly had the right idea because Jesus later said that the way to God is the way of hearing and learning (John 6:44,45). It is Jesus who has the words of everlasting life. “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘You do not want to go away also, do you?’ Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.’” (John 6:66-68). Jesus is still the one who has the words of eternal life. Jesus is the one who tells us what to do to be saved. It was Jesus who said: “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:15,16). This makes a difference because Jesus said it. How wonderful it would be if more people were like Nicodemus and would look to Jesus to learn what to do to be pleasing in the sight of God!
Looking For Jesus Improperly
Some Seek Him With Wrong Motive
Not all who looked for Jesus had the right motive in seeking him. Herod looked for Him so that He could have Him killed (Matthew 2:1-13). Others looked for and followed Jesus because of the loaves and the fish (John 6:26). Still others thought they should come to Jesus for what earthly goods they might gain by being His disciples (Luke 9:57,58). Do you really for Jesus? Why do you look for Him? Are you sure that you seek Him for the right reason?
Some Seek Him In Wrong Place
Some people seek Jesus in the wrong places. In Luke 2:41‑52, when Jesus was lost physically, His parents looked for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, but they looked in the wrong place, because He was not there. They had to search where He was if they were to find Him. Today, many people look for Jesus and do not really find Him because they are looking among their relatives and acquaintances because they think He might be there, when He may not have been among these at all. Others sought Jesus in the Jewish traditions of the time, but did not find Him. “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’” (Matthew 15:7-9) And so today many people look for Jesus among the many traditional religions of man that are around us; the tragedy is that so many go right on to the day of their death thinking that they have found Jesus, or thinking that they are looking in the right place, when He may not be there and may not ever have been there. Do we seek Jesus in the wrong places?
Seek Jesus, but seek Him in and through His word. It is in His word that He has seen fit to make Himself known. The New Testament has been written that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing we might have life through His name (John 20:31). When you have found Him revealed, obey Him. He will never leave you as long as you continue in His will and way (Matthew 13:20). We can expect the same thing he promised to his apostles: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.