Proper 13 (B), August 3, 2003
From my earliest memory I have always wanted to know more about
how things work, and “why” has plagued my vocabulary. My family often
told me the slogan of one of the tabloids, “Inquiring minds want to
know,” was written just for me.
The Scriptures bring the same issues for me. Why did Zacchaeus
climb the tree? Oh, I know he was short, but why did he want to know
Jesus so much? And, what about when Mary and Joseph suddenly
discovered Jesus was not with their caravan? Or, why did the wise men
follow that star? But, I think the real question is, “Why did I
search for Jesus?” Why do you search for Jesus?
In Matthew, chapter 2, we are told about Herod searching for
Jesus. When he heard that one who was to be the messiah was born the
Scriptures say he was troubled. The word used for trouble can also
mean anxious, vexed, or distressed. Herod was afraid of the change
and the power. He was afraid of what he would loose. Many times in
our lives we search for Jesus for those very same reasons. We are
afraid, scared, and insecure. We are afraid of change or things being
out of control. So, we begin to search. And, the more fearful we get
the harder we search for Jesus.
Mary and Joseph begin their journey home in Luke 2. They had been
to Jeruselum to celebrate the Passover. They discovered Jesus was not
with them. The men usually traveled in one group and the ladies and
children in another. This would have been a large group of people.
Maybe Mary thought Jesus was with the men. Maybe Joseph thought
Jesus was with Mary. Can you imagine the panic that struck when they
realized He was nowhere to be found? They did not find Him for three
days. They searched for Him, I’m sure, with mixed parental emotions.
They searched because they loved Him. But, they searched because they
were His parents. They were responsible for Him. Sometimes we search
for Jesus because we love Him, but also because it is what we are
supposed to do. In fact much of what we do in our Christian walk is
done because it is our duty.
In the text people are searching for Jesus because of physical
needs. They had seen and heard the wonderful things He had done. Now
they have followed Him to the other side of the Lake. But, not
because of the “signs.” Jesus said they came because their stomachs
had been filled. We often search for Him to meet our needs. All one
has to do to understand this is to listen to our prayers. “Lord, I
need . . .” We pour out our physical needs in far greater proportion
than our praise.
These people, after being rebuked by Jesus, begin to understand
the reality is not about what He can do or what He can give.
Searching for Jesus has to do with “who He is.”
Jesus says He is the bread of life. It is Jesus and our
relationship with Him that we should seek. Jesus longs to have a
personal, intimate relationship with each of us. This is why He came.
This is why He endured the cross. This is why He overcame death. This
is why He sends His spirit to draw you unto Himself.
Why do YOU search for Jesus?
Why then,do we, like those that came to the tomb, after His
crucifixion continue to “search for the living among the dead?” Our
world is in search for Jesus in all the wrong places and for all the
Sermon brief provided by: John Burke, Nolensville, TN