A Sign from God
(Matthew 12.38-42; Mark 8.12)
29 As crowds were gathering around Jesus, he said:
You people of today are evil! You keep looking for a sign from God. But what happened to Jonah is the only sign you will be given. 30 Just as Jonah was a sign to the people of Nineveh, the Son of Man will be a sign to the people of today. 31 When the judgment comes, the Queen of the South will stand there with you and condemn you. She traveled a long way to hear Solomon's wisdom, and yet here is something far greater than Solomon. 32 The people of Nineveh will also stand there with you and condemn you. They turned to God when Jonah preached, and yet here is something far greater than Jonah.
(Matthew 5.15; 6.22,23)
33 No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a clay pot. A lamp is put on a lampstand, so everyone who comes into the house can see the light. 34Your eyes are the lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. 35So be sure your light isn't darkness. 36If you have light, and nothing is dark, then light will be everywhere, as when a lamp shines brightly on you.
In the 1971 Broadway hit Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice, King Herod was fascinated by Jesus – maybe more amazed at what Jesus could do than by who He was. In King Herod’s song, “Try it and See”, he says:
“So if you are the Christ
Yes the great Jesus Christ
Prove to me that you’re no fool
Walk across my swimming pool
If you do that for me
Then I’ll let you go free
C’mon King of the Jews”
Jesus knew the nature of the crowds that were gathering to see and hear him. They wanted to see miracles, not listen to Jesus’ words. The Queen of Sheba travelled a long distance to hear words of wisdom from Solomon. The Ninevites repented when they heard Jonah’s message. Now Jesus, the source of truth was here, and people were more interested in what he could do than in listening to what he had to say.
Shutting our eyes to the truth brings darkness to our inner being. The light may be shining brightly on the outside, but if we shut our eyes to it, we won’t benefit from its light.
Heavenly Father, you are full of grace and truth. Open the eyes of my understanding that I be filled with your light, and open my ears, that I may hear your voice. Help me to walk in your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.