Thus says the Lord, “Seek me and live.”
Luke 19:2–3 (NIV)
A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was.
As a child I played the game, “Going on a Bear Hunt”. As I recall, the point was to go on the bear hunt when suddenly you would encounter the bear and have to run for your life back to the safety of your home. It’s kind of like hunting for rattle snakes in West Texas or wild boar in Arkansas: what do you do when you actually catch one?
Sadly, however, many people hunt for things far more dangerous – although not seen to be so. We hunt for excitement and thrills at the expense of safety and due caution. A youthful moment of carelessness ends in the tragedy of an auto accident during an impromptu on-the-street drag race. A slip of the hands sends someone falling to their death on an untethered rock-climbing outing. A momentary flirtation with drugs invites disease into the body of a young woman through a shared needle. An indiscriminate look takes a man into an adulterous affair to relieve his boredom. Drugs, money, sex, fun, adrenaline: each provide a moment of excitement and a cheap counterfeit sense of joy. But these do not bring life.
Jesus, on the other hand, invites people to look to him and live. God says, “Seek me and live.” Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. He was rewarded for his tree-climbing efforts. Jesus literally changed his life. We can search for happiness, significance, meaning, hope, or inner peace. All these are good things to have. But they will not save us. Jesus calls us to seek God’s reign and righteousness first, and all the other things of life will be added to us. Whatever effort it may take to seek Jesus’ presence in our daily lives, will be well spent. Jesus is on the hunt for people who will look for him and his salvation.