Mark 8:11-13 (CEB)
Looking for proof
The Pharisees showed up and began to argue with Jesus. To test him, they asked for a sign from heaven. With an impatient sigh, Jesus said, “Why does this generation look for a sign? I assure you that no sign will be given to it.” Leaving them, he got back in the boat and crossed to the other side of the lake.
My blogs this week will all be done on my phone whilst up in Bradford on holiday visiting Carys at Uni. They will therefore be shorter and less swizzy with formatting and effects!
The Pharisees are harassing Jesus again – asking for a sign. Presumably, as they think Jesus is a charlatan, they hope he will try and fail to deliver, and the crowds will be disappointed and Jesus will lose credibility.
We ask for “signs” or “proof” from people we don’t really trust or don’t really believe in – we want a demonstration because we won’t take their word for it.
The people of Israel should have been very aware that such things are a waste of time. Remember Elijah? He totally pwned the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel with a spectacular demonstration of heavenly signs – yet the people did not turn to his God.
God has long since given up thinking that anything as easy as a crowd-pulling sign from heaven is what we need. Jesus seems to have given up that idea too. He refuses to rise to the bait, shakes his head, sighs and sails off over the lake shouting back over his shoulder that they won’t be getting one anytime soon.
Looking a bit closer, Jesus sighs and asks “why does this generation ask for signs?”
“this generation” – the generation that gets to see Jesus walking and talking and teaching and living the Kingdom of God in their very midst. They have such a level of incomprehension that they ask Jesus – the most obvious and clear heavenly sign they could ever have – for a heavenly sign!
It would be like going up to Sir Bradley Wiggins and asking him if he could point out a decent cyclist…
Jesus sighs with frustration. I’m glad he does that cos sometimes I do – and now I can say it is a Christlike thing to do! 🙂
We have no need of spectacular God-proving signs. We have Jesus – that’s all we need to know. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen God. That’s really all you need to know. In similar vein, you don’t need to pray that your friends will receive a miraculous sign from above. The have all they need as Christ is made real for them by the way YOU reveal Christ in your day-to-day Kingdom living.