Seeing and Believing, part 2
Last time we began this passage by noting that Jesus had been making some rather spectacular claims for himself. He claimed to have cast out a demon by “the finger of God.” He claimed that where he was present, God’s kingdom was present.
In light of these claims, the people had asked for another sign; a greater sign than merely casting out a demon and allowing a mute man to speak. The crowd wanted to see a “sign from heaven” (11:16). They wanted more evidence to substantiate Jesus’ claims. But Jesus was unwilling to comply with their demands. He said that “an evil generation” seeks a sign. Rather than looking for a sign, they should look to the Word of God.
I noted that many of the details here seem to be related to the Word of God. The first point was that the Word of God conveys a blessing (vs. 28). Mary (.27) was blessed to be the mother of Jesus, but anyone who hears and keeps the Word of God is blessed. That’s a blessing all of us should seek.
And then we saw that the Word of God is superior to signs (.29b). An evil generation seeks after a sign, and the only sign that Jesus’ adversaries would get was the sign of Jonah. Like Jonah was three days in the fish, Jesus would be three days in the tomb. Like Jonah came out of the fish, Jesus would come out of the tomb. Jesus’ resurrection would be the sign to verify his claims. If they refused to believe that sign, then they could not be saved.
I finished last time with a few comments about signs and wonders, and how our focus should be on the Word of God rather than on spectacular miracles.
Jesus is calling for a response to his message. Are you for him or against him? Are you going to hear the word of God and keep it? Are you going to accept his message as light and truth? Will you allow that light to penetrate and permeate your life?
With that review in mind, let’s press on to our third point.