Thursday, July 07, 2011

Matthew 16:1-4


1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, ``When it is evening, you say, `It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' 3 ``And in the morning, `There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 4 ``An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign ; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.'' And He left them and went away.

They are looking for a sign other than Jesus! It is Jesus' reply that the sign was there, if they could only see it. They were well aware as to how to read the signs of weather.

"A red sky at night is the shepherd's delight; A red sky in the morning is the shepherd's warning."

They knew very well that a red sky in the evening was a sign for fine weather; and that a red sky in the morning was the warning of a storm to come. But they were blind to the signs of the times. Jesus told them that the only sign they would receive was the sign of Jonah. Jonah was the prophet who was used by God to reach the people of Nineveh and turned them from their evil ways toward God. Now the sign which turned the people of Nineveh to God was not the fact that Jonah was swallowed by the great sea monster. It was the sign of resurrection, coming back from sure death. The sign of Jonah was Jonah himself and his message from God. It was the emergence of the prophet and the message which he brought which changed life for the people of Nineveh.

So what Jesus is saying is that God's sign is the sign of resurrection. He will show them this sign a couple more times and ultimately will illustrate this sign by His own resurrection. So, the ultimate sign is Jesus Himself and His message. It is as if he said to them: "In me you are confronted with God and with the truth of God. What more could you possibly need? But you are so blind that you can't see it." There is truth and there is warning here. Jesus is God's last word. Beyond him the revelation of God can't go. Here is God plain for all to see. Here is God's message plain for all to hear. Here is God's sign to man. It is the warning truth that, if Jesus can't appeal to men, nothing can. If Jesus can't convince men, no one can. If men can't see God in Jesus, they can't see God in anything or anyone. When we are confronted with Jesus, we are confronted with God's final word and God's ultimate appeal to mankind.

It's all about Jesus. Again, it's JESUS PLUS NOTHING. If you miss Jesus, you miss it all!

Are you looking for any sign other than Jesus?