Why Do You Seek Jesus?
Chan Gin Kai
Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him. (Luke 9:7-9)
News about Jesus had spread and reached the ears of Herod the tetrarch. Herod was never a sincerely spiritual man. He knew John the Baptist was a righteous and holy man and liked to listen to him, yet Herodias managed to manipulate him to behead John (John 17-20). Obviously, John’s constant preaching to him while John was in prison had made no impact.
Herod became interested in Jesus too. Perhaps he was curious, or puzzled by the accounts of miracles, or saw Jesus as a potential threat to his power. He tried to see Jesus, and he finally did, on the morning before Jesus’ crucifixion. “When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.” (Luke 23:8-9)
Herod got to hear the greatest prophet and see the Son of God, yet his heart remained hardened. We can hear the best sermons and take the communion and yet remain distant from God.
Herod’s motive for seeing Jesus wasn’t pure. Some had said that Jesus was John or Elijah or one of the ancient prophets come back to life. Who wouldn’t be curious to see someone who has come back from the dead (zombies aside)? John was known to be a great preacher and Elijah a great performer of miracles. Who wouldn’t want to see a miracle performed right before his very eyes?
We can seek God but not find Him if we seek Him for the wrong reasons. What impresses you?
Are you after the spectacle and showmanship? That’s what some people look for in preachers and church services. There are pastors that are more concerned about exuding charisma and dazzling people with their razzmatazz than the content of their message. There are some who are able to bring the congregation on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but not help people change their lives. That was never the style of Jesus.
Are you lured by the promises of blessings? Or are you touched by the sacrifice of Jesus? Sadly, many treat their relationship with God like a business investment. They do know of Jesus’ sacrifice and are thankful, but their main motivation is their misguided understanding of blessings. God is our Lord, not our business partner. We shouldn’t go to Him thinking, “Let me give this to God, so that God will bless me a hundred fold”. Yet we get easily discouraged or even upset with God if our prayers go unanswered.
We will of course find more sincere friends in church and become part of a wonderful godly community. We have stronger marriages and raise up better kids if we follow biblical principles too. But are these our main draw? Are we more concerned about getting our needs met in church or drawing close to God? Do we grumble about how others can serve us better or dedicate ourselves to serving God?
He is God, and we are not. Yet we often lift ourselves up onto the pedestal. We expect God to grant our requests, and the church to meet our needs. The last time I checked, GOD is not spelt G.E.N.I.E., and CHURCH is not spelt C.L.U.B.
There needs to be more of God, and less of us. Let’s seek Jesus for the right reasons. He died for us and we need to respond with gratitude. Make him the centre of our worship and our lives.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".