One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.” But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish 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.
Memory Verse: Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” John 4:48
Signs are a type of confirmation we get from God which gives us some sort of reassurance but sometimes while reassurance birth progress, some people just don’t have enough faith that God is speaking to them or using them for a particular assignment. In that light they play the reassurance card, an act which is very human.
A master at this game was Moses who even though had seen God through a bush burning that was not consumed, Exodus 3:2 and also had heard God clearly, didn’t think he had enough sign and still questioned God. He also played the ‘show me a sign’ card with God. Although God showed Moses all the signs He needed to progress, Moses was still hesitant on the assignment because those signs did not give him the confidence to progress as all he could see was the mountain-like situation before him and not God, Exodus 4:1-16.
There are many things in our lives that will happen and we will need a sign from God like Moses, Gideon, Judges 2:9-14 and other prophets of God in the bible and it is clear that God showed them signs where needed to help boost their faith. Just like them, we also look for signs to confirm the word of God and have peace within us that what we hear is definitely from the Lord. It is also important for us to be guided because there is a difference between genuinely asking God for a sign and testing God. God should not be tested but believed in.
We see from today’s bible passage according to Matthew 12:38-40 that the Pharisees who came to have a conversation with Jesus requesting signs were only doing it to test Him. This was clearly after Jesus had healed various people which the Pharisees must have heard about. Jesus being the word of God saw through their thoughts and refused their request but referred them to various other signs which had happened in the past and will happen in the future. Jesus didn’t need to be validated by any man or prove His authority to them because if despite all they can see they still wanted another sign, then clearly they just wanted to test Jesus. They asked with the wrong motive and so they were not even in the category of those who will receive from God and that included any sign whatsoever, James 4:3.
In the old testament, we see that God gave a lot of signs to help the people’s faith and with obedience. We see that the Apostles performed a lot of signs to further enhance the gospel of Christ but for us, it is worth having a good understanding what we really need from God when we say ‘Lord give me a sign’. Sometimes the signs we need already exist and we can see it but choose not to see it. We can vividly say every sign we need exists and are visible in His word; we can already see His awesomeness. So it’s more of a question of do we trust God enough to believe that His word is active in our lives?
Sometimes asking for a sign may be good for us and encourage us but we need to get to a position of completely trusting God. Most times signs are to prove a thing and we don’t need God proving anything to us before we take up our cross and follow Him wherever He leads us to. All we just need to know is that if God is truly the one leading us, we can never end up at the wrong location. Even when God shows you sign, you may still encounter hindrances when on an assignment just like we see in the life of Moses. Irrespective of all the signs which boosted his confidence, Moses did not have a smooth ride with the Egyptians and still had to deal with obstacles before the Israelites got their deliverance out of slavery.
God is always with us and yes sometimes we want to confirm His will but let’s not get stuck in the ways of always wanting God to prove Himself before we obey His word. You have a special blessing for trusting God completely John 20:29. Do you already have all the clarity you need from God but still requiring more? We are not to get caught in testing God because of our unbelief, Deuteronomy 6:16.
Are we really after a sign or we are trying to test God?
- Father I thank you for your word that gives life and understanding
- I receive the power to trust in you totally and see all the signs around me that you will prove yourself
- Help me not to waver in faith or doubt you, help me to believe soundly in you
- Forgive me of all my shortcomings O Lord and let your mercy prevail over judgement
- Thank you Lord for answers to prayers, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.