Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth.
The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Who doesn’t want a sign from God?! To confirm once and for all that God is real and that belief makes sense. To reveal the meaning of life. To define our purpose on this earth. Even just to shake things up a bit.
When the scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign, there is a moment I cheer them on. “C’mon, Jesus,” I say to myself. “Just do it! Just do something spectacular to make your mission easier and appease all the sign seekers (like me).” After all, seeing is believing.
But Jesus not only refuses to provide a sign, he cites the signs God’s messengers have already given and then reveals himself to be greater than the likes of Jonah and Solomon.
The scribes and Pharisees address Jesus as “teacher,” and that is exactly what he is. Through his works, his prayer, and his words, Jesus is constantly teaching us to have eyes to see, ears to hear. Believing is seeing! It’s on us, then, to be a faithful generation and to trust that God is in all things, surrounding us with signs.
Today the signs of God’s love abound as my family celebrates the birthdays of my youngest son, Colin, and of my mother, Margaret. I pray that our family sees the candles, phone calls, cards, presents, hugs, and smiles as spectacular signs of God’s presence and the miracle of life.
Look with the eyes of faith today. What signs do you see?
—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for theMidwest Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA
Be patient. Try to love the questions. Do not seek the answers which cannot be given; you would not be able to live them. Live everything. Live the questions now: you will then without noticing it live into the answers some distant day.
—Rainer Maria RilkePlease share the Good Word with your friends!