The Pharisees and Sadducees once asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven. I’m not sure what they were expecting –maybe the ancient equivalent of fireworks or a laser-light show.
Either way, Jesus didn’t grant their request. Instead, He criticized them for missing the signs that were all around them: Namely, the sign of the Messiah.
For centuries, God had promised a Messiah to deliver His people. And year after year, His people searched for the sign. Yet, now, in this very instant, the Sign is standing in front of them, having a conversation with them –and yet, they missed it! Even worse –they ask the Sign for a sign!
It would be like asking Michael Jordan if he knows any good basketball players, or Bill Gates if he knows someone who could help you fix your computer!
Jesus just answered them this way, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah” (Matthew 16:2-4).
Basically, Jesus says, you know how to read the signs of coming weather, but you can’t read the signs that are most important.
Granted, the Pharisees and Sadducees had ulterior motives in their question. They were trying to trick Jesus (Matthew 16:1). But the root of their problem was blindness –spiritual blindness.
Isn’t it interesting how, even for believers who have had their spiritual eyes opened, bouts with spiritual blindness still remain?
We are always looking for signs, aren’t we? See if any of these thoughts sound familiar:
- The owner prayed to open the interview –that must be a sign to take this job.
- The girl actually called me back –that must be a sign that she’s “the one”
- I made a “D” on my last paper –it’s a sign to change my major!
When we look for signs, we are really looking for something more: We are searching for hope and a future. (think on that for a while)
And just like the Pharisees, the ultimate sign has already been given to us in Christ.
Ultimate fulfillment doesn’t come in landing the right job, major, or even spouse –although all of those things can be fulfilling. But they are only fulfilling when our ultimate fulfillment is in Christ. There’s your sign!