A sign (semeion) means a mark or signal. Signs point to the existence of something or somebody. It is through signs that God reveals something about a person or things.
In the bible, the people see signs as miracles or deeds from God. They often refer to signs as proof of the presence of God. Miracles of Jesus are signs to reveal who He is (Acts 2:22).
1 . To understand this gospel, we have to start reading from verse 1 of this chapter.
In this chapter 12, the Pharisees have already confronted Jesus for allowing His disciples to break the Sabbath law. So, instead of listening to the Pharisees, Jesus uses that opportunity to teach the Pharisees the true meaning of Sabbath observance.
He also uses that opportunity to declare Himself the Lord of the Sabbath. We know fully well that the Pharisees are teachers of the law.
So, Jesus uses the opportunity to let them be aware that although the Pharisees are teachers of the law, every law points to Him.
1b . To buttress His point, Jesus goes further to heal a man. The man has a withered hand ( Matthew 12:10-13). After this, the Pharisees begin to plot how to kill Jesus.
Despite their evil scheme, Jesus continues to heal to the extent they accuse Him of working with the power of Beelzebub.
Now when the Pharisees see that their plans do not work, they come to Jesus to request signs. Therefore, through the signs that Jesus would perform, He will prove Himself as the Messiah who is to come.
2 . The question then remains, what are the Pharisees still seeking from Jesus? If they want signs, Jesus has already worked three before this encounter with them.
Also, they have often seen Him heal and deliver many souls, yet they are demanding another sign. The Pharisees seem to remain not satisfied and stiff-necked to whatever Jesus does.
Like The Pharisees.
1.Like the Pharisees, there are times we also seem not to be satisfied with what God has been doing for us. When we sit down and count the blessings God does for us already, we will always approach Him in thanksgiving and not harden our hearts like the Pharisees. Jesus loves faith ( John 20:29, Mark 9:23) and not looking for signs and wonders. ( Mark 8:11-12, Luke 11:29).
2.Sometimes, We harden our hearts to God. Then we expect when heaven falls to the earth to believe that God is real.
That God does not answer our prayer the way we want is not a reason to discredit what God has been doing for us all this while. What Signs are we still seeking from Jesus?
3.In the gospel, Jesus calls the Pharisees and teachers; adulterous and unfaithful because just like the adulterer or unfaithful man or woman, the Pharisees remain unsatisfied.
Such an attitude is a sign that we do not have faith. Only those who do not believe in God always seek signs to believe in God. (Luke 11:14-16).
4.So, when we are so much interested in signs and wonders, we become like Herod, who was only hoping for a sign from Him to believe (Luke 23:8).
God must not give us signs and wonders before we believe in Him. What He has done already is enough to strengthen our faith in Him.
The Reasons The Pharisee Discredit Jesus.
1. The point we are trying to make today is that the Pharisees try to find a way to discredit Jesus, to pull Him down. The presence of Jesus is making them feel inferior and ordinary.
This attitude is one of the reasons the Pharisees claim that the miracles Jesus is doing are from the evil one.
2.Also, we can ask ourselves, “How many times do we try to discredit the other person or try to pull the person down because we do not like what the person is doing?
How many times do we plan something evil against someone because we do not like the person? God calls us differently. The work that Jesus comes to do is different from that of the Pharisees.
It is what the Pharisees do not understand. Also, it is what we do not know when we work against another person.
3. What Jesus expects from us is repentance and change of heart. Today we have missed the point. When a minister is not performing signs and wonders, we are quick to discredit him and then term him as someone who is not spiritual.
Today many Christians rush from one prayer house to another to seek prophecies and who can bring wonders from heaven. Yet, we lack faith in God.
3b . This is why many people are trying to live up to the expectations and play-acting, hence forget that we are not the people doing the work. We are mere instruments, and God works through us.
4 . The true sign that credits Jesus as the Messiah is the resurrection. He tells the Pharisees, “It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign He will give is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights”.
Here, Jesus is invariably pointing to His resurrection. It is the true sign that credits Jesus as the Messiah. After Jesus, no one else has resurrected from the dead.
The miracle of the resurrection is an answer to all who try to discredit Christianity or equate it with other religions. What essentially marks Christianity out from other religions is the resurrection.
5 . If we doubt that Jesus is true, let us go back to history and check if it is true that there was once a man called Jesus. Was He crucified and buried? Did He resurrect?
If He did, Has anybody done that? Where is He now? Our answer to these will satisfy our quest that Jesus is real. Then there is no need to look for signs but develop faith in Him.
Therefore, instead of seeking signs and wonders to believe, take your time and count your blessings in the past. They are enough to convince you. Always know that Jesus is still working. Remain strong in Him whether your prayers is answered or not answered the way you want.
May God bless you and give you the grace to stand firm against challenges and temptations. Amen.