17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.Luke 6:17-19, ESV
As a gospel preacher, I want everyone to come to Jesus, but not everyone will. The thought of multitudes coming to Jesus for any reason ought to thrill us. We ought to lend our voices to such a great cause. God’s Spirit says, “come,” and the church says, “come.” We are the audible voices of God’s Spirit as He calls sinners to repentance, but He is also working within men. Christian, we are led by God’s Spirit to declare the eternal call of God. The Holy Spirit is at work in the hearts of men, calling them internally. We should be lifting our voices like Isaiah.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters (of life); and he who has no money, come, buy and eat (the bread of life)! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast sure love for David… Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”-Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7, ESV
Are we coming for right or wrong reasons?
I do affirm the general goodness of coming to Jesus for any reason. In a certain sense, there is no wrong reason to seek Jesus, but in another sense, there is only one good reason to seek Jesus. I will attempt to sketch what I mean by these two contrary thoughts concisely. Let’s begin with the former. The first sense is subjective. According to the first sense, there is no wrong reason to seek Jesus initially. The reasons for a person to seek Jesus seem innumerable. From seeking Jesus as a moral example to seeking Jesus to prove Him to be false, all are welcome to seek Him. Many have come, and they are all invited to the metaphorical table despite their varied reasons. The second sense does not contradict the first but focuses upon the only objectively good reason to seek Him. While all are welcome to come, the one good reason to go to Jesus is to humble oneself before Him as King and Saviour. While there is only one objectively good reason to seek Jesus, many different subjective reasons for seeking may be utilized by God’s Spirit in drawing people to Christ. While some come for something they imagine Jesus could deliver to them, they might stay realizing Jesus, the Saviour King, is better than whatever they hoped to receive through Him.
In our small section of Luke 6 that we are focused upon today, the crowd seems to have come seeking Jesus because they wanted to experience His miraculous power of healing. Is that a wrong reason? Not at all. There is no wrong reason to seek Jesus. In the gospel accounts, Jesus gladly heals all who come to Him, believers, and skeptics, alike. For example, in John’s narrative of Jesus’ feeding the five thousand, Jesus fed all true believers and unbelievers equally. The result of that meal was certainly more belief. The next day the crowd could not find Jesus, but they went looking for him. After they found Jesus, He lamented their bad reason for seeking Him. They were not there because they wanted more of Him and His teaching, but they wanted more food. You see, any reason to initially seek Jesus is not wrong, but continuing to seek Jesus for what He can do for you is a wrong reason. Christian, ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal your own motives for seeking Christ. May we be humble people seeking Jesus like the Apostle Paul, who counted everything as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
Abiding or abandoning?
Christian, are we abiding in Christ? That is another good question for introspective examination. Seeking Jesus is sometimes misunderstood as being exclusively connected to conversion. May we put that fallacy as far from our minds as possible. The entirety of the Christian life is to seek Christ daily. The apostle John recounts Jesus’ admonition for believers to abide in Him. That abiding is meant to communicate the same. An active daily seeking is the continual abiding. Follow Him. Abide in Him every day. Matt Mahr sings this truth so beautifully, “Lord, I need you, O I need you, every hour I need you, my one defense my righteousness, O God how I need you.” Amen Matt.