[Today’s Gospel is John 1:29-42]
Verse 38, like most of the Fourth Gospel, is multi-layered.
“What are you looking for?” Jesus asks the two men who follow Him (after John the Baptist pointed and said “there is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.”) ‘What do you want?’ or ‘what do you need?’ or ‘can I help you?’ might be other ways of verbalizing this inquiry. A simple inquiry in the face of their sudden appearance. Yet there is a depth here. The Greek word zete http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2212&t=KJV means to seek.
What are you seeking?
We have many needs it is our given condition. Survival depends on air, water, food. We also need sleep, exercise, relationships, a sense of self worth and purpose. We need many things, with varying intensity and frequency.
We also have wants. We need pleasure and we want pleasure. We need food and we want tasty food. Our wants can feel like needs sometimes.
Wants, needs, desires are all within us. There is a passive aspect to such things. WE do not have to do anything to want or desire. It happens, in fact, it can control us.
To seek is active. It is a choice, a behavior, and it takes effort.
However, what we seek is not always aligned with our wants and needs. We seek the wrong things, even when we know what we should seek.
Jesus knows our greatest need: to love God and love our neighbor. Love is the ultimate need, for it is eternal. Jesus, God Incarnate, brings God among us and calls us to God.
The Bible has much to say about what to seek and what not to seek.
Numbers 15:39 Do not seek after your own heart and your own desires (this is called being unfaithful—in our culture, even conservative Christian culture, following ones’ own heart is viewed as a virtue)
Jn 5:30 I do not seek My own will.
Jn 7:18 He Who seeks the glory of the One Who sent Him is true
Jn 8:50 I do not seek My own glory
And after the multiplication of the loaves he critiques our focus on the physical needs, Jn 6:20 you seek Me not because of signs but because your bellies are full.
Chronicles contains eighteen references which nicely summarizes this:
Seek the Lord. Seek His face. Seek out His commandments.
As Isaiah 55:6-11 (Canticle 10) says ‘seek the Lord while He wills to be found; call upon Him when He draws near’
Psalm 63:1 ‘O God You are my God, eagerly I seek You. My soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for You, like a dry weary land without water’
Ps 9:10 For You Lord have not forsaken those who seek You.
Ps 34:10 Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
Jesus says, The Kingdom of God is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, when he finds one truly valuable pearl he sells all he has to buy it (Mt 13:45) That is the value of God.
Mt 6:33Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be yours as well.
His promise: Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you will find
Mt 18:12 The good shepherd has 100 sheeps, but He goes out to seek the lost sheep. GOD SEEKS US!
Jn 4:23 God seeks those who worship in spirit and truth
How to Seek God
In prayer, in meditation on Scripture, in love of family and friend, in service to the poor and needy. Seek God to be with God, just to find Him.Empty tie just "being available" and have no other purpose than "I want to seek your face, O Lord"
Jesus asks, only you can answer Him
What are YOU seeking?