Mark 8:11-13 – The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. NIV
By now Jesus’ ministry was in full swing. He had healed many people, raised a person from the dead, and performed many other miracles. Just before these Pharisees came to Jesus asking for a sign, He had fed 4,000 men plus women and children using seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. After every one was done eating, His disciples gathered seven baskets of leftovers!
Now these guys wanted a “sign!” We are not told what “sign” would convince them that He was the Messiah. Evidently, they had something in mind. Jesus refused to play their game. All the signs were there, but they refused to see or even investigate them. As Ray Stevens wrote in Everything Is Beautiful: “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”
These guys didn’t want to see Jesus as the Messiah, and there are still people out there today with the same bias for many reasons. Some have been influenced by someone in their early years that made fun of or put down Jesus. Some have never really considered any reality past this life. Some have been negatively influenced by someone claiming to represent Jesus or God. Some have asked God for a specific “sign,” and He didn’t give it to them. The list reasons or excuses can sometimes be long.
Many years ago during a 50 Day Spiritual Adventure, David Mains challenged many of us to record our “God Sightings.” These were ways that we observed God’s interactions with our world. Even now from time to time (I am doing this currently as I write these questions), I journal these by completing the statement, “God, I saw your work in my everyday world when…” This discipline causes me to stop and consider events and circumstances that I may have taken for granted without this pause.
Some questions to consider: How do I actively look for God’s work in my life? How would I know His work when I see or experience it? How do I “nudge” other people to look for God’s work in their lives? Is there are particular sign that I keep asking God for, and possibly ignoring other indications of God’s love and concern?