God is seeking seekers

The writer of the longest psalm launched straight into a kind of ‘seeker’s charter’ on a note of high hope: ‘Blessed are those … who seek [the Lord] with their whole heart’ (Psalm 119:2), zealously claiming that he was one of them: ‘With my whole heart I seek you(Psalm 119:10); yet it ends with his sorry confession that ‘I have gone astray like a lost sheep,’ and a desperate prayer for the Lord to seek your servant(Psalm 119:176).

Thankfully, God is himself a seeker of the lost. For instance, at the time of the Exile he promised: ‘I myself … will seek out my sheep … I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed’ (Ezekiel 23:11-16). Then, having brought them back to the land, he continued to seek to save them, especially through his Son.

Even when passing through, God is seeking seekers

In two well-known events embedded in the Jesus’ story he tells us that God is seeking seekers – in his meaningful meeting with Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10) and his vibrant exchange with the oft-married woman at the well near Sychar (John 4:1-41). Since ‘the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost,’ Jesus was happy to announce to the repentant and honest tax officer that ‘Today salvation has come to this house’ (Luke 19:9-10). But his full intention is that such rescued souls should become true worshippers of God because, as he told the lost (though religious) Samaritan woman: ‘the Father is seeking such people to worship him … those who worship him … in spirit and truth [Greek, reality](John 4:23-24). 

[] Probably the Samaritan woman was only seeking ‘Mr Right, who really

understands me.’ So, who was this lonesome, travel-weary Jew, asking for help to
quench his thirst? She discovered he is: (i) socially uninhibited, willing to share a
drinking vessel even with a female foreigner! (ii) a prophet who knew her better than
she knew herself (John 4:19,29); (iii) the longed-for Messiah (John 4:25-26); (iv) indeed,
the Saviour [= restorer to wholeness] of humans of every race and culture (John 4:42).

[] Zacchaeus, a more focused seeker, ‘was seeking to see who Jesus [is]
(Luke 19:3). He was keen to respond, as seen by (i) his haste (Luke 19:4-6); (ii) his
humility when told to ‘come down’ Luke 19:5-6); (iii) his hospitality (Luke 19:6, ‘he received him gladly’); and (iv) his honesty to ‘restore … fourfold … if I have defrauded
anyone of anything’ (Luke 19:8).

[] On both occasions Jesus was just ‘passing through’ (Luke 18:35-37; 19:1,4;
John 4:4), yet he ‘stayed’ for a while (Luke 19:5; John 4:40) – although his religious
critics reckoned he merely lodged [Greek, katalusai] with the taxman as a ‘guest’ of
that sinner’ (Luke 19:7). As we pass through situations let us, like Jesus, ask Father what he’s doing there at this moment (John 5:19-20), and cooperate. The day that Roger Simms was demobbed from the army he hitched a lift with a Mr Hanover who was driving to Chicago. Moved by Roger’s testimony, he stopped the car and wept as he received Christ. On dropping his passenger, about an hour before his own destination, he passed on his business card. Years later, when Roger visited Hanover Enterprises, Mrs Hanover asked, ‘Did you know my husband?’ and on hearing of the car journey enquired, ‘What date was that?’ Learning it was on May 7, five years before, she sobbed as she gasped, ‘He was killed in a head-on collision minutes after you left him.’ When Roger assured her that he had gone straight to be with the Lord shethanked God, for ‘I had been praying for so many years that he would come to Christ.’

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