Pastor Jeremy Husby delivers a sermon entitled “Seek the One Who Sought You “ based on Matthew 6:33 at Peace Lutheran Church in Hartford, Wisconsin.
Delivered on Sunday, August 12, 2018
Do not worry.
That’s the way that Jesus begins this pericope—this section cut out– from his infamous Sermon on the Mount. For three chapters in the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus taught his people about so many different aspects of Christianity.
Jesus saw a crowd of people who were hurting and hopeless. They were searching for answers and were desperate. They were not finding fulfilment in their fishing, in their carpentry, in their tax collecting, or in their farming. Their marriages were breaking or already broken. Their children were rambunctious and didn’t listen. Their friends betrayed them, their drachmas and denarii were dwindling, and, well, to be quite honest, their healthcare system relied heavily on a miracle worker like Jesus to take away their pains and sicknesses.
Jesus saw all this and reached out to people that he loved and cared for. He knew that these people were in need and so he helped them by preaching to them. He sought them out and shared with them wisdom from above. And smack dab in the center of three chapters of these teachings is this encouragement and enjoiner from Jesus, Do not worry.
You have likely heard it said before, but it bears repeating: the Holy Spirit doesn’t waste words. As he inspired Matthew to write these words, he likely did not have him record a word for word dictation of the entirety of this discourse, but, rather, to share what was most needful.
In so doing, these words stand out. You could even say that the words Do not worry serve as some sort of an overriding theme and central focus for the whole sermon. And, if you do that, a wealth of knowledge is opened for, and shared with, those who read and hear these three chapters.
Are you hurting?
Are you seeking answers?
Are you unfulfilled?
Is it your marriage that is falling apart—or, are you just a bit jealous of those whose are because you wouldn’t take marriage for granted like they have?
Are you the one wondering how tuition, the car, the house, or even tonight’s dinner is going to be paid for?
Are you the one with the sickness that even modern medicine can’t mend?
Friends, Do not worry.
If you are hurting, Jesus has comfort.
He has the power to fix what is broken.
He has love that surpasses this world’s most desirable romances.
He has riches far beyond the biggest billionaire’s bank accounts.
He has the cure for any and all ailments.
Jesus has it all figured out, is in control of all things, and has the ability to give you all these things as well.
Jesus is telling you to have faith—to trust that everything is going to be ok. Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Everything in this world may be telling you otherwise, but Jesus says not to worry about it.
In essence, the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount is an expository, or explanatory, sermon of the 1st Commandment. Fear, love, and trust in God above all things. Do not put your trust or your reliance on anything other than your God.
Truthfully, Jesus could have just said, Do not worry as his whole sermon and, because he is God, expected and required you to believe him and think, speak, and act accordingly. Like a parent who gets fed up with his child who keeps whining and complaining, Jesus could have just told his disciples of all eternity not to worry “because I said so.”
But he didn’t. He sought you out in your pain, sickness, sadness, and anxiety, and shared with you the secret to removing that worry from your life. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
He doesn’t promise to eradicate cancer, to deposit drachmas or denarii on your doorstep, to force your kids to do their chores, or to get your nagging wife off your back. But what he does promise is to remove your worry over them. You see, when you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, you begin to realize quite quickly that you have something far more worrisome than all of those issues combined.
Without Jesus, you are not a part of his kingdom and you are the complete opposite of righteousness. The original sin inside of you since the moment your life began not only caused you to be unworthy of your God and unable to enter into his presence, but it is also the reason why you commit so many of your sins, from worry, itself, to the selfish thoughts, words, and actions that flow so freely from it.
Notice that Jesus did not say to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness so that all these things will be given to you. Rather, first, have faith and then recognize that all of these things will be taken care of by the one who loves you and gave you everything that he has.
Trust to be true all that he did for you. Believe that, while you were completely lost and unworthy of his attention and his love, he kept the law of God in your place. He put the will of God in front of his own and sacrificed what was best for him for what was best for you. He put your wants, needs, and even your worldly possessions in front of what he could gain for himself. He became a human being in order to be the perfect substitute for you, both in the perfect life you were unable to live and the sacrificial death that you don’t have to die.
He lived and died to win forgiveness for you, to clothe you with the robe of his righteousness, and to reconcile the relationship between you and your God. And not only did he have the power to do those things, but he actually did them all—for you.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, not so that he will share with you all that he has. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, that is, have faith in what he has done for you is true, and know that not only can he provide for all your earthly needs, he will, because he did everything in his ability to make you his own.
Seek first the One who sought you. Believe that he has it all figured out, is in control of all things, and he will give you all these things as well. Amen.