Want proof that Jesus is God’s Son? Tangible proof? You are not alone. Trouble is, tangible proof never seems to be enough. Back in Jesus’ day, He was healing people, calming storms and feeding thousands, but that wasn’t enough for the religious experts. They wanted more.
” The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.” (Matthew 16:1)
By the way, in today’s terminology, these two groups represented the extremely conservative and the extremely liberal religious groups. But they shared a human trait in common: The things He was doing right there in front of everybody were not enough. “Show us something from Heaven,” they asked.
“He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, ….” (Matthew 16:2-4a)
The wickedness Jesus referred to, at its core, is the human desire to be god, to be in charge and control. We want to say what is right and wrong. We like to think we are in control over everything (even the temperature of the planet!). The adultery Jesus pointed to is the human tendency to chase after new and different gods. We want to go off and study under some spiritual mystic or medium, to change our names and adopt another religion that catches our fancy.
“Wait a minute,” you ask, “didn’t you just say that we wanted to be god? Isn’t it logically inconsistent to want that and also chase after new and different gods?” Yes it is. But then again, I said these were “human” tendencies! Since when have humans been entirely logical and consistent?
Signs on the highway don’t help those who are too distracted to see them. They don’t work for those who think they already know the way. Jesus had been performing many signs, the things He called the “signs of the times.” But they wanted more. God gives signs, but they are of value only to those who are humble and open, to those who are ready to receive them and respond to them. God’s signs sail right past the “adulterous” and “wicked.” That’s why Jesus said,
““Be careful,” … “Be on your guard against the yeast [the teaching and attitudes] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”” (Matthew 16:6 excerpts – with my explanation)
If you understand this blindness of the religious experts, you can see the contrast in what happens when the disciples begin to “have eyes to see.” It’s pretty cool and we’ll take it up next time.