Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Seeking Signs?

“And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.  For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.  The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.  The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.” (Luke 11:29-32)

The charge is that in seeking a sign, one neglects the evidence before him, all the while looking for more miraculous evidence.  Yet didn't Christ actually give such signs?

Seeking signs?
He did indeed give miraculous signs –  Recall the very things John the Baptist asked of Christ, as to whether He was the One:
Ø  The blind see
Ø  The lame walk
Ø  The deaf hear
Ø  Lepers are cleansed
Ø  The dead are raised
Ø  The poor have the Gospel preached to them

In Luke 7 we read of this account.  Note that before Jesus verbally answered John's disciples, he gave them this very evidence (Luke 7:21) before their eyes.  John's disciples believed and told John of the good news. Isaiah 35:5-7 & 61:1-3 are just two of the many Messianic passages which attest to the evidence they were to seek.

Yet here in our account we have a people who has heard and seen the very same things, but still seeks another sign?!

They are like the rich man's brothers who, though having the evidence before them, still remain in unbelief (Luke 16:19-31).

When Christ speaks of this generation as an evil generation, what defines 'evil'? In seeking an answer, it seems plain that it is unbelief.  The sin of unbelief is the sin at the heart of all sins.  For Christ did give many signs.  He even gave the very signs expected of the Messiah!  He would yet give them another sign, that last great sign is his death and resurrection.  

Yet many did not believe, even upon the fact of his rising and being seen of more than 500 at a time (1 Cor. 15:6).  He continued with them for 40 days (Acts 1:3) before ascending on high to take his seat at the right hand of the Father.

But unbelief is a blindness which sees no evidence as compelling.  It writes off all potential.  It steals away all hope.  Better to be like the man who cries out, "Lord, I believe - Help my unbelief!"

May we seek not a sign, but believe what is already before us!  Amen.

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