Summary: The willful unbelief of the Pharisees disturbed the Lord to the depths of His spirit.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
People refuse to believe that which they don’t want to believe, in spite of evidence. When explorers first went to Australia they found a mammal which laid eggs; spent some time in water, some on land; had a broad, flat tail, webbed feet, and a bill similar to a duck. Upon their return to England, they told the populace of this, and all felt it was a hoax. They returned to Australia and found a pelt from this animal and took it back to England, but the people still felt it was a hoax. In spite of the evidence, they disbelieved because they didn’t want to believe. (J. McDowell, Answers to Tough Questions, under “Miracles”)
The willful unbelief of the Pharisees disturbed the Lord to the depths of His spirit. Their demanding to see a sign was not due to their desire to see the hand of God but because they were blind to His hand. The Biblical order for a Christian should be that "believing is seeing" and not "seeing is believing" (v.17).
Jesus once more seeks privacy with His disciples by getting in a boat with them crossing the Sea of Galilee. He took advantage of this opportunity by warning them of the hypocrisy, pride, worldliness and legalistic spirit of the religious leaders. He was saying, "Don’t you go the same way the Pharisees and Herod have already gone". At this point the disciples seemed very concerned that they had forgotten to bring enough to eat and they were going to be hungry. Jesus reminded them that twice He had satisfied the hunger of huge crowds and had food leftover. His question was why did they forget so quickly and why were they so slow in learning?
If we would only learn the lessons of experience, it would teach us not the pessimism of the things that cannot be, but the hope which stands amazed that God has brought us thus far in safety and in certainty and the confidence that God can bring us through anything that may happen.
What is it that makes it difficult for me to sometimes hear and accept spiritual things? What is something I have heard over and over and know that I should do and as yet have not put it into practice? Lord help me to be a person who accepts spiritual teaching and puts it into practice.