In the old days, we looked at a huge paper map to go to a place we had never been. Once the map was unfolded, it was almost impossible to fold it back the way it was. Remember? We used this tool to follow roads we had never traveled to get to our new destination. However, we realized as soon as the maps were printed, they were out of date. The maps would not indicate road construction or delays. The printed maps would not be able to tell us if a road had suddenly been removed, so we would have to rely on signs to show us the way around the roadblocks and detours.
Now we have GPS! But guess what, even GPS does not always tell us of impromptu delays and detours of road closures. We still have to watch for physical signs as we travel. The GPS, however, can guide us to a new road when we get lost along with following the physical signs. We love clear signs. It settles our building anxiety.
Travel in unknown areas can be troubling and fills us with anxiety when we travel without knowing for sure where we are going. We catch ourselves doing ridiculous things such as turning down the radio or shouting at the kids to be quiet so we can see the signs when we come to a place that isn’t on the map or doesn’t agree with GPS. My parents did it, we do it. “Be quiet, so I can see!” Even if no one is in the car, I still turn down the radio as I maneuver on unfamiliar roads. Are you laughing? I hear you laughing…because you probably do this, too. We all do it. We want to turn off everything that distracts us so we can see to understand. Ah, there it is. There’s your sign—seeing to understand.
The religious “powers that be” in Jesus’ time on earth asked for a sign “to prove His authority”. Jesus had already given ample signs but they refused to believe. They could not see the signs with understanding. He healed multitudes of people, spoke with authority and had a dedicated following because of doing the will of God, His Father. Yes, Jesus had given them many “signs” of who He was, but they could not see the signs with clarity. There was too much noise interference and distractions of greed, envy, pride, self-serving with self-importance along with political aspirations. They had been in control until Jesus came along with signs of change. The refused to believe in the signs before them. Jesus was taking them down unfamiliar roads to the Kingdom of God that would upset their self-made way of life.
So, Jesus reminds them of the experience of Jonah to tell the unbelievers of His story that would happen very soon. Here’s your sign. “…the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” Jesus gives them more information as signs to prove his authority. There is one greater than Jonah and Solomon among you and you refuse to SEE and understand, listen, repent and believe. There’s your sign.
Oh friends, turn down the noise of the world to stop, look and listen to the signs and glories of God each day. We need not ask for signs. Jesus already was, is and is to come. See and understand. Believe and be saved. Don’t allow evil to take the place of Jesus in our hearts, minds and souls. There’s your sign.
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 12:38-45, NLT
The Sign of Jonah
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”
39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent. 42 The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.
43 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. 45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You are God, most Holy and we are not. We look to You for your blessed assurance and you freely give it to us each day we ask. When we are anxious in unfamiliar places, you show us the way. You are always with us. You are our supreme GPS! You know what was, is and is to come. Why trust anyone else but you? I don’t. To trust anyone or anything else makes me anxious! You have given us more than enough signs in Your Word to guide us through all kinds of circumstances. You have given us your Holy Spirit to lead us through and around the detours of troubled circumstances. Oh Lord, I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for speaking to our hearts, allowing us to hear your voice over the noise of the world. Continue to help us see and hear to understand.
In Jesus Name, Amen