Our world is full of signs. We have signs for nearly everything that the public uses or experiences. We have directional signs, almost too many, until we are lost and then we yell, “why isn’t there a sign here to tell me which road!”
We have signs that assume we need signs not to touch signs. “Caution, this sign has sharp edges” followed by “Do not touch the edges of this sign.” Okay, I think I get it.
There are signs seem clear to the sign maker but make the sign reader say, “Huh?” How about some of these signs;
“Touching these wires will cause instant death. $200 fine.” (Um, my first thought is, who will pay the fine?)
“DANGER – Crocodile Habitat” (You had me at crocodile!) But the sign explained for those of us who need it:
-Do not go into the water.
-Keep away from the water’s edge.
-Do not clean fish near the water’s edge. (Who’s doing this?!)
-Remove all fish and food waste.
Seen at a yard sale, “Dead People’s Things for Sale” Yeah, that draws me right into that yard, right?
Seen on a park road…”Keep your eyes open”….Who is shutting their eyes when they drive through the park?!
How about this one, “Garbage only, no Trash”. Is there a difference?
At a restaurant we have to warn people about the outdoor fire pit, “Caution, Fire is hot.”
Found on a display of bathroom toilets: “The nearest toilets are located at the IKEA restaurant and cafe” heavily taped on the inside between lid and seat.
Why signs like this? Signs are invented for those of us who have done exactly what the sign is telling you not to do.
Jesus knows and teaches leaders about signs when they ask. But it makes me wonder, are the religious elite asking Jesus for more signs they can post so they can wield more power and oppression over the people. No, actually they are merely testing Jesus. Jesus aces the “test”.
WHO in their right mind would test the Son of God? It might be those who do not recognize or know Him. Give us a sign.
The Demand for a Sign
16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the time. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
We seem to drive through life with our eyes closed like the sign we mentioned earlier. We don’t see or recognize God at work consistently in our lives and in our world. We are too busy with our thinking and surviving day to day that we miss the signs…just as these leaders did.
The religious leaders’ desire to silence Jesus had caused the two opposing religious parties to unite in one common effort. (Imagine democrats and republicans coming together to battle a common enemy to their supposed power.) They were waiting for Him when He returned to Galilee. The Pharisees, of course, were the traditionalists of their day, while the Sadducees were quite liberal (see Acts 23:6–10). They united to issue a challenge to Jesus: “Show us a sign from heaven and we will believe You are the Christ.”
The word translated “sign” means much more than simply a miracle or a demonstration of power. It means “a wonder by which one may recognize a person or confirm who he is.” This was the fourth time the religious leaders had asked for a sign (Matt. 12:38.; John 2:12; 6:30). Later, they did it again (Luke 11:14.). But miracles do not convince people of sin or give a desire for salvation (Luke 16:27–31; John 12:10–11; Acts 14:8–20). Miracles will give confirmation where there is faith, but not where there is willful unbelief. The leaders refused to believe. God was not part of their agenda.
WHY DID JESUS TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER?
To reveal to His enemies their own dishonesty and stubborn blindness. They could examine the evidence in God’s world and draw valid conclusions, but they would not examine the evidence He had presented. His enemies would not believe, and therefore they could not believe (John 12:37.). The Pharisees and Sadducees did not lack evidence; they lacked honesty and humility.
Their demand for a sign revealed the sad condition of their hearts: they were evil and adulterous. He did not accuse them of being guilty of physical adultery, but of spiritual adultery (Isa. 57; James 4:4). These men were worshiping a false god of their own manufacture, and this was spiritual adultery. Had they been worshiping the true God, they would have recognized His Son when He came.
Will we be ready? What do we lack in our faith?
Will we recognize Him when He comes back again?
Will our faith, built on Jesus blood, give us 20/20 vision to readily see the sign of His return because we KNOW Him?
Jesus had mentioned the sign of Jonah before (see Matt. 12:38–45). This was the sign of death, burial, and resurrection. Our Lord’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection were actually a sign to Israel that He was their Messiah. It was this sign that Peter preached about at Pentecost (Acts 2:22).
HERE’S ANOTHER SIGN...
Because of their unbelief, Jesus then left them and went away.
I am halted in the tracks of my thoughts this morning. Their unbelief cause Jesus to leave them. Jesus does not hang around where there is no faith. Wow. Camp on that for a bit.
Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come and reign in us and all around us. Your Will be done on earth, in every delightful detail of our lives, as it is in heaven. Give us this day eyes to see and ears to hear You. Give us cleansed hearts to embrace You fully. Help our minds to know you more and more. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who hurt us. Lead us away from tempting signs that lead us to evil. Deliver us from evil and signs of evil. For you have all power. To you be all glory.
I don’t need a sign…only You.
In Jesus Name, Amen