In the first section of our Bible text this week we hear a group of folks demanding Jesus’ for something. Mark 8:11-14:
The Pharisees came and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven to test Him. And He sighed deeply in His spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
We also must read of this same encounter out of Matthew 16:1-4:
He answered them, “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.”
They ask Jesus for an additional sign. They are demanding that Jesus provide solid proof to back up the claim of who He is (He has told them that He and the Father are One…therefore telling them He is God). They have had all kinds of evidence given to them but it has not satisfied them. Here are a few examples straight out of Mark’s Gospel Record:
Chapter 1 - He healed a man in their synagogue and then many others in Peter’s Home.
Chapter 2 - He healed a man who had been lame…their scribes saw it.
Chapter 3 - He healed the man with the withered hand right in front of them.
Chapter 5 - He healed Jairus’ (a leader of the synagogue) daughter.
Jesus had also done many other miracles by this time that you could read about in Matthew, Luke or John. The point being, He gave ample evidence but they wanted irrefutable proof! When is there ever enough evidence to fully satisfy us in our quest for understanding. No matter what we are trying to figure out we could always ask for more proof. In a relationship with a spouse or other family member, we could fail to see their love for us because we need just a bit more proof. In a scientific theory, we could be unwilling to believe the evidence we have compiled because we really wanted more concrete proof.
In our spiritual lives, we can wait so long for hard proof that our life is wasted. In my own faith journey, I went through a time in my late 20’s where I was uncertain of all the evidence I had been given in my youth. I wanted to seek out the evidence myself so I could have a faith that was personal…not borrowed. It was a scary yet beautiful time. As I researched and studied, my faith grew leaps and bounds beyond where it had been before. Each scrap of evidence was used to bolster my spiritual life. However, I never had proof. I had enough evidence to point towards proof but there was always a need for faith. Guess what - there always will be. These men asked Jesus for proof and He pointed them towards one final evidence that would have to suffice. He called it the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was cast out to die in the sea, was swallowed by a great fish and then released to go and do what God’s will had been…so Jesus promised these men that they would see Him be crucified, buried and then rise again. This would be all the proof they would get. The other miracles were not enough evidence…would this be? Is it enough evidence for you?
For more devotional thoughts you can visit www.windcitychurch.org/blog/ . We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper. Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.