Perhaps you remember the bumper sticker from years ago: “Wise men still seek Him.” How true that is. It is the wisest thing one can do in this life, to seek after our Savior and King. Yet to seek our King as He deserves and demands is a costly pursuit. Those who come to know and understand our King and His claims upon them quickly come face to face with the truth – to seek Jesus in the manner in which He is worthy will cost us everything. Despite this cost, true seekers are never disappointed. There are few places where we find this illustrated more clearly than in the Christmas story.
Luke 2:8-20 “In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and
the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
After the announcement from the angel, the shepherds went seeking their King, the Messiah for Whom they had been waiting their entire lives. The one for Whom the people of Israel had been waiting since the days of Abraham. They wasted no time as they went seeking their Lord and Savior.
The shepherds were all in, fully committed to seeing their King. The angels had barely departed when they left their flocks to go see the Child. “Let us go now,” they stated. And they made haste to get into the village to locate Him. Here is a sense of immediacy, of urgency. Whatever was of interest to them before the arrival of the angels did not matter to them now. Only one thing mattered now that Messiah was near.
When they found their Messiah, they were not disappointed, not even by the somewhat rudimentary conditions of His birthplace. They spoke about the angelic message to everyone who would listen. They went on their way rejoicing in what they had heard and seen.
The shepherds were not the only ones earnestly seeking their King in this story. Simeon, a righteous and devout follower of our God, was also seeking the King. His story is found in Luke 2:25-35 “Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.
Simeon had been waiting for the “consolation of Israel,” the hope and salvation that God had promised for centuries. The Lord had promised that Simeon would see the Messiah before he died. What is it about Simeon that he was chosen to see the King? It was that the Spirit of God rested upon Him. Simeon walked in the presence of the Holy Spirit every day, which in those old covenant days was a rare connection. He lived a life guided by the Spirit, the New Covenant life the Savior Himself was coming to earth to initiate. Simeon had an unusually deep relationship with His God, Who was the focus of his living every day. And because of his obedience to the Spirit he was not disappointed.
Jesus told us, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.” Jesus was not simply making a suggestion by His words. He meant them for all of us. His instructions to us occasion important questions for us. Am I all in in my commitment to seek my King? Am I seeking Him first above all other pursuits? If not, what will it take for me to get there? These are the most important questions of our lives.
At the beginning I stated that to seek Jesus in the manner in which He is worthy will cost us everything. And when we do seek Him as much as possible with our entire being, I have found that we gain more life than we can even imagine.