The Defining Question

Michael Beck

“Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? …” (John 1:38a)

We’re all after something. Our motives are often hidden. But our actions reveal the motor of our life. The first words Jesus spoke to those who followed Him is: “What seek ye?”

There ought to be a stubbornness in the life of Christ’s disciples. They should follow hard after Him, asking until they receive, seeking until they find, knocking until the door is opened. But what is it that they really want? Their will to be done? Their name to be great? The good “stuff” that dazzles the eyes of men?

There are those who are all about their gain – “supposing that gain is godliness” (1 Tim. 6:5). They would use the faith of Jesus Christ to fulfill their own carnal cause and interest. Are they true followers of Christ? By no means. They’re in it for something else. Their god is their belly. They mind earthly, not heavenly things. (Philippians 3:19,20)

Seek and you shall find. In the end, we all get what we pursued. The only question is: what were we after? Those that follow “another Christ,” get another Christ. They may think they are rich and increased with goods, but they are poor. Christ stands without. They are empty of His presence and fellowship. “… And they followed vanity, and became vain …” (2 Kings 17:15) True disciples want one thing: to know and live in and by and for their Master. They crave Him and Him alone. “They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? …” (John 1:38b)

Paul was once a mess of desires and ambitions. Among the things he was bent after was the destruction of the followers of Christ. But Christ caught up with him on the Damascus road, and knocked him flat on his back, causing him to ask the all important question: “Lord, what should this man do?” Ultimately, the Lord answered his question, the same question that Solomon asked in Ecclesiastes: “What should I be pursuing in this life?” Solomon ended his quest with nothing but emptiness; but Paul discovered the fullness of God. To know Christ became his driving passion and pursuit, for whom he counted all else loss.

What are you really after? Forget your lesser goals. Give up your small ambitions. Reach for the right prize. Win Christ.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13,14)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.