He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.”
A couple of summers ago, my girlfriend and I had a fantastic holiday in Canada. We flew to Toronto, then took a train to Montreal, and another to Quebec, where we picked up a hire car to drive to Prince Edward Island and onto Halifax, before flying back to Toronto. It really was an amazing trip. We did have a few issues with navigating in our hire car, though, particularly driving to Halifax. There seemed to be a distinct lack of road signs, which made life rather difficult! At one point, we thought we had arrived in Halifax, only to find ourselves in Dartmouth, on the other side of the river! Eventually we found ourselves in the right city, and had a great time, including a trip on an amphibious tour bus!
Signs to Halifax would have been very useful. They might have helped us to see whether we were on the right road or not. Similarly, if there were plenty of signs to reassure us that God exists, that Jesus did in fact die and rise again, and that heaven is real, it would be so much easier to be a Christian. That is exactly what the Pharisees asked Jesus for in the verses before today’s reading. They want a sign to prove that Jesus is the Son of God.
The Pharisees, of course, were trying to catch Jesus out, and to prove that he was a fraud. Jesus was wise to their trick, though, and refused to play their game. He was rather exasperated by their demand for a sign, when in actual fact, if they cared to look, there is more than enough evidence to support Jesus’ claim. The whole Old Testament, which the Pharisees should have known well, prophesied exactly what the messiah would be like. Jesus as fulfilling the prophecies. Jesus’ teaching and miracles should have demonstrated that his claim was true. Their hearts were hard, though, and they did not want to accept Jesus as their saviour.
The same is true today. Yes, it is sometimes difficult to be a Christian when all around us people are telling us our faith is simply based on a story. That’s the beauty of Christianity, though. It is a faith. We have to have faith. We can then chose for ourselves whether or not we follow God. There is so much evidence to support our faith, though. The Bible is packed with evidence. The history books support many of Jesus’ claims. The way God works in our lives and the lives of people we know. Creation itself is testament to God’s love for his people.
Look around you. There are plenty of signs to support Jesus’ claims – if only we saw them.