What Seek Ye?
There are two things I want to call your attention to this evening. The first is in the words of the 1st chapter of John, 40th verse; and the second is in the 6th chapter of Matthew, 33rd verse. The first text is the first words that fell from the lips of Christ, at the commencement of his ministry. It was the question he put to those two disciples who came and questioned him as to where he dwelt. One afternoon, about four o’clock, John the Baptist stood with two of his disciples, and Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, a little way off; and John lifted up his hand and pointed to the man off in the distance, and said: “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world!” and John, the beloved disciple, and Andrew left their old master and went together toward Jesus; and Jesus turned around as they came up to him and said: “What seek ye?” I thought this evening I would like for a few moments to call your attention to that text, and press that question home upon the people here. I would like to have all of you ask yourselves the questions: What are you seeking? What did you come for? What motive brought you here this evening? What do these great crowds of people here mean, day after day, week after week?
There were all classes of people seeking for Christ, and they had every kind of motive for seeking him. There were some who came out of curiosity, just to see what would happen. There was another class who came to him because they had friends that were diseased, and they wanted their friends to be healed and blessed. There was the class who came with the hope of getting the loaves and fishes. And there was still another class, that were trying to murder him and get him out of the way; they were watching him, and striving to get him into some conversation in which they might entangle him with his words, and so get an excuse to bring him before the Sanhedrin, and cause him to be called guilty of blasphemy, and punished. Some sought him for what they could get; and others sought him for what he was. And that is the class we are after, namely, those who are not seeking Christ for what they can get, but who are seeking him for what he is personally. I have no doubt but that a great many of the disciples first sought him in order to be identified with him, because they thought he would set up an earthly kingdom, and establish his throne upon earth. Judas perhaps thought so, and that he might become the chief treasurer of such a kingdom; and perhaps Peter thought that he might become the chief secretary; and when the sons of Zebedee found out that it was a spiritual kingdom that he was to establish, their mother came and asked of Christ that her sons might be placed the one upon his right hand, and the other upon his left. All the time during his ministry, Christ constantly found men seeking for office and honor, and that is precisely the spirit to-day. One of our greatest troubles, and one great reason why we do not get greater blessings from God, is because we are not pure in our motives for seeking him. I say there is not a man or a woman (and I see they are nearly all women here tonight), who has come here for a blessing from God, and who has that motive, but will get it. Others will go away without any blessing, and with hearts as hard and cold as ever. Why? Because they have not come to get a blessing.
I would like to ask you to take this brief question home to your hearts to-day, “What seek ye?” What are you after this evening? What motive brought you to this place? I think one would say, “I came because some friends of mine were coming; I did not have any particular motive at all; I came because my friends asked me to come.” I ask another, What did you come for? “Well, I came to see the crowd; I heard there were a great many men and women here; and I thought it would be a wonderful sight to see so many together.” A man told me the other day that he came to see the chairs. He said he heard there were 10,000 chairs all in one hall; and he thought they must look so strange. He had a curiosity to see them. Thank God, that man got caught in the gospel net that very night; and I hope some others that come just out of curiosity, this evening, will get caught with the old gospel net. But, to return to our question, What brought you here? A lady over there says; “I came to hear the singing; I don’t care anything about the preaching. I have heard the word preached till I am tired of it; and if I had my way about it, I would rather get up and go out as soon as the singing is over.” But if any of you have come here with such motives, and will change your minds after you get here, and will seek to come to God tonight, you will find him, whatever your motive was at first in coming. You may even have come here to make sport of the meeting; you may have come here to ridicule everything you should hear; but if you will repent, and change your mind, the Lord Jesus will bless you tonight, and forgive you, and this may be the best meeting you ever was at in your life.
~ This is from Mr. Moody’s sermon “What Seek Ye” in The Gospel Awakening