Matthew 12:38 “Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.’ ”
Don’t you wish you could just sit down with the Lord and get some clear direction or sign about certain matters in life? What some wouldn’t give to have a tangible manifestation of God’s presence or a detailed plan of action fall from the heavens making all decisions plain! But this is not usually how God works. Finding God and following His will require steps of faith. We are not always given tangible signs, and especially when He has already given us all the light we need in His word.
Matthew has spent many chapters giving proof of Jesus’ kingship over a heavenly kingdom and elaborating on the rejection He received from those who should have recognized His identity. The jealous Pharisees and teachers of the law tried to trick Jesus and discredit Him, but to no avail. So next they tried another tactic.
Sidling up to the Master and feigning renewed interest they asked, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” I can almost see their posturing and hear their oily voices as they tried to manipulate the Lord in order to find some other reason to condemn Him. But Jesus wasn’t having it! He saw into their hearts and knew their real intentions. Besides, hadn’t they already seen multitudes of miraculous signs in the healings, exorcisms, and resurrections that gave credence to His claims of Messiah? What more did they want?
So, Jesus spoke straight to the heart issue answering, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
Pointing to this familiar Old Testament prophet who had survived for three days and three nights in the belly of a large fish before being spit up on shore near the nation he had refused to warn, Jesus essentially told the unbelieving religious leaders that the next sign they received would be His resurrection from the dead.
Contrasting these unbelieving men with the repentant heathens of Jonah’s day, Jesus warned that the wicked country of Ninevah would condemn the self-righteous who had the Messiah right at their fingertips. Likewise the Queen of the South who traveled a far distance from the ends of the earth to receive the great King Solomon’s wisdom, would also condemn them for rejecting the Truth Who stood right before them.
Today faith is no different. We all must choose how we will respond to what is before us. Matthew, a reliable first hand witness to Jesus, His authority, and miraculous signs has left a credible testimony of the truth of Jesus’ claims.
But it goes beyond that! Those of us who have chosen to step out in faith can also testify to the reality of the Savior. We have been delivered from the shame and guilt of sin and stand free in Christ. “The Spirit [of God] Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). The miracle of a changed life speaks the loudest!
I still think it would be nice to have some tangible sign of God’s presence and power to help us in all of our decision making, but we walk by faith and not by sight. Receiving the Lord as Savior always comes by grace through faith. We have all the light we need in His Word. The question really is — will we believe or not?
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.