What to Seek
(NIV unless otherwise noted)
To Seek

First the Kingdom:

  • "But seek (ze-TEIte) first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Mat. 6:33)
  • "But seek (ze-TEIte) his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well." (Lk. 12:31)
  • Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on (ze-TEIte) things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on (phroNEIte) things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3:1)
  • "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for (ze-TOUNti) fine pearls. When he found heurO-N de one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Mat. 13:45-6)
  • "Make every effort (ago-NIzesthe) to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try (ze-TE-sousin, KJV: will seek) to enter and will not be able to." (Lk. 13:24)


  • "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek (ze-TEIN) him (ton theON) and perhaps reach out for (pse-laPHE-Seian) him and find (HEURoien) him, though he is not far from each one of us." (Ac. 17:26-7)
  • And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him (ton proserCHOmenon) must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek (tois ekze-TOUsin) him. (Heb. 11:6)
  • As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one (ouk EStin) who seeks (ho ekze-TO-N) God. (Ro. 3:11)


  • The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for (ze-TEIte) Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." (Mt. 28:5)
  • And when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for (ze-touSI) you!" (Mk. 1:37)
    Alt: "All men seek for thee." (KJV)
  • "You will look for (ze-TE-seTE) me, but you will not find (heuRE-sete) me; and where I am, you cannot come."
    The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find (heuRE-somen) him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for (ze-TE-seTE) me, but you will not find me,' and 'Where I am, you cannot come'?" (John 7:34-36)
  • Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek (ze-TE-seTE) me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come (elthEIN). (John 8:21 KJV)

The Glory of God:

  • "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. ... but he who (ho de) works for (ze-TO-N) the honor of the one who sent him (KJV: seeketh his glory that sent him) is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." (John 7:17-18)

The Good Of Many:

  • Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God -- even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not (me-) seeking (ze-TO-n) my own good (KJV: mine own profit) but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Cor. 10:33)
  • So it is with you. Since you are eager (ze-lo-TAI) to have spiritual gifts, try (ze-TEIte) to excel in gifts that build up the church. (1 Cor. 14:12)
  • For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek (ze-te-SAto-) peace (eiRE-ne-n) and pursue it." (1 Pet. 3:11)


  • "Ask and it will be given to you; seek (ze-TEIte) and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks (ho ze-TO-N) finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (Mat. 7:7-8)
  • What then? What Israel sought so earnestly (ho epize-TEI israE-L) it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, (Ro. 11:7)

Not To Seek

Material Things:

  • "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after (epize-TEI) all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them." (Mat. 6:31-2)
    Alt: "all these things do the Gentiles seek"
  • "And do not set your heart on (ze-TEIte) what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after (epize-TEI) all such things, and your Father knows that you need them." (Lk. 12:29-30)
    Alt: "And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or ... the nations of this world seek after" (KJV)


  • He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for (epize-TEI, KJV: seeketh after) a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." (Mat. 12:39)
  • "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for(epize-TEI, KJV: seeketh after) a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. (Mat. 16:4)
  • The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for (ze-TOUNtes seeking, KJV: sought of him) a sign from heaven. (Mark 8:11)

Your Own:

  • Seeketh not her own (1 Cor 13:5)
  • Nobody should seek his own good (to heauTOU ze-TEIto-), but the good of others. (1 Cor. 10:24)

The Glory of Men:

  • "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain (ou ze-TEIte) the praise that comes from the only God?" (John 5:44)
  • "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself (te-n DOXan te-n iDIan ze-TEI, KJV: seeketh his own glory)," (John 7:17-18)


  • Are you married? Do not seek (me- ze-TEI) a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for (me- ze-TEI) a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (1 Cor 7:27-8)
  • In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for (ze-TEIte) the living among the dead?" (Lk. 24:5)
  • "Now the hand of the Lord is against you (Elymas). You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand (eZE-tei cheirago-GOUS, he sought guides) . (Ac 13:11)
  • just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued (apelTHOUsai oPIso-) unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 7)

Higher Seeking


  • "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins (or, ten drachmas, each worth about a day's wages) and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search (ze-TEI) carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Lk. 15:8-10)
  • "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for (ze-TEI) the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." (Mat. 18:12-14)
  • "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks (ze-TEI)." (John 4:23)
  • Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for (E-Lthe ze-TO-N, came seeking) fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for (ERchomai ze-TO-N) fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
    "'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'" (Lk. 13:7-9)


  • "For the Son of Man came to seek (ze-TE-sai) and to save what was lost." (Lk. 19:10)
  • "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not (ou ze-TO-) to please myself (KJV: I seek not mine own will) but him who sent me." (John 5:30)
  • "I am not seeking (ou ze-TO-) glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it (EStin ho ze-TO-N), and he is the judge." (John 8:50)

The Devil:

  • Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for (peripaTEI ze-TO-N, walks about seeking) someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)

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