In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites those who are heavy laden for rest. His invitation is a simple one. While we look at complex topics and lessons when the message can be broken down to this: we will find what we are looking for in Him. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus tells the multitude to seek, ask, and knock to receive. We will find what we are seeking. The real question is what we individually seeking. Are we seeking forgiveness in Him? Do we seek rest? Do we seek a Christian family?
Sometimes we tend to skip parts of chapters in the New Testament when Paul or other authors enter into greeting specific Christians, but these individuals are people like you and me. They are seeking something, and they happen to have helped Paul or others in their service to God while seeking Him.
- In John 6:14, after Jesus has fed thousands miraculously, many acknowledge His identity as the prophet-to-come. Jesus withdraws from them, knowing they would make Him an earthly king, and He and the crowd encounter each other again on the other side. Jesus admonishes them for seeking Him based on material reasons. We may turn to God for financial reasons, for health reasons, or others. We seek a bailout in God.
- III John describes a glory-seeker by the name of Diotrephes. This is a man seeking preeminence among Christians. He is not interested in the message so much as the attention he can receive. This is his opportunity to be somebody, improperly seeking glory rather than God.
- In John 12:3 records Mary anointing Jesus feet with an expensive ointment. Judas objects, citing that the oil should have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor, but his heart is not in the right place. Judas is seeking fault in Jesus and others. He is looking for what is wrong in others.
- I Corinthians 1:21 tells of individuals who seek after worldly wisdom. The simple message does not make sense to these individuals. It is not something quantifiable by their standards, so they turn from God’s wisdom, seeking the wisdom of this world in His stead.
- In Matthew 26, we see Peter seeking Jesus from a distance. He stays back to see what would happen. He wants to be a seeker and a follower, but Peter also wants to blend in. He wants to be indistinguishable from the world while seeking after Christ.
- In Acts 18:24, we are introduced to Apollos, who is teaching baptism improperly. However, when corrected, he received the word gladly. He is a truth seeker. He doesn’t argue based on interpretation or long-held misconceptions. Because he seeks truth, he corrects himself.
- Onesimus, in Philemon 12, is seeking to make peace with Philemon. Colossians 4:10 records Mark being with Paul while he is in prison. This is the same Mark who was once a source of contention, but now he is an encouragement (II Timothy 4:11). Paul and Mark had made peace. These are peace seekers rather than grudge bearers.
- I Corinthians 10:33 describes Paul as a soul seeker. He is looking out for those he can save through the word of God, those who are seeking His truth.
- In Acts 6 and Acts 15, we see examples of Christians being solution seekers. They look for peaceful ways to solve their differences – whether scriptural in nature or physical. Instead of allowing themselves to dwell on the problems they face, they work together to seek solutions.
- II Timothy 1:16 describes the kindness of Onesiphorus and the reputation he has for helpfulness. Onesiphorus is a service seeker. Like, Barnabas of Acts 4, he seeks opportunities to encourage others. These both seek what they can do for others more than what they can do for themselves.
What Am I Seeking?
We find what we are looking for. If we seek materialistic and carnal things, we receive our reward in these. If we see to find fault in others, our faults will be revealed by God. If we seek worldly wisdom, we might accomplish much in this life, and if we seek God from a distance, we will be kept distant in judgment. However, if we seek truth, we will grow to love truth. If we seek peace, we will live more peacefully. Soul seeking leads to encouragement. Seeking solutions brings about resolution, and seeking service and encouragement will build ourselves up as much as others. If we keep seeking, asking, and knocking for the correct things, we will find rest for our souls.
lesson by Tim Smelser