Summary: Jesus made it clear that the Bible contains more information than anyone could ever need to recognize Him and be saved.
"Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here."
In the 12th chapter of Matthew, the Lord Jesus was discussing His deity with some of the scribes and Pharisees, which they doubted and couldn’t believe, when one of them made the statement in verse 38, "Master, we want to see a sign from you." In other words, Jesus, if you could just give us a sign, we would believe in your deity, we would believe that you are the Christ. Jesus told them that they had the sign of Jonah, which was a wonderful picture of His coming death, burial and resurrection. That was all they were going to get. He told them, "an evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign, and they won’t get one."
Since that time, men and women have searched the Holy Land and the regions around it over looking for signs. They believe they have found the shroud Jesus was buried in, the crook in the river Jesus was baptized in, the cave He must have been buried in, a box with Jesus’ name inscribed on it, and on and on and on. In all of their searching, many of them are making the same statement: If we could just see a sign, we would believe!
The question has arisen in my mind, does God really want people to believe? Does He really want them to have sufficient information in order for them to come to Christ? The answer is a resounding yes!
· The Lord told Moses He was going to terrible things in Egypt so the Hebrews and Egyptians alike would know that He was God.
· He protected and provided for the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings so "their generations would know…"
· He told Joshua to set up stones in the Jordan River as a reminder of His awesome power so "all the people of the earth might know…"
· He gave David great victory over Goliath so "all the earth might know…"
You look your Bibles through and you’ll find book after book where God has made statements like that. He has always worked in such a way that people could know that He alone is God and they could know Him personally. Even today, though God may not part seas or have people killing giants, He has given us all the evidence we need to come to Him in repentance and faith. Near the end of John’s gospel, after He wrote of the Lord Jesus turning water into wine, healing the sick, raising the dead and much much more, He wrote,
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
In his letter to the Romans, Paul said that no one would have an excuse, "because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." There’ll come a day when every human being will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, and "every mouth will be stopped, and all the world will stand guilty before God."
Well maybe today you are like the scribes and Pharisees. You know a lot about Jesus, but you’re just right there on the fringe. If you could see a sign you’d believe. Well listen, the signs are everywhere. Consider some of the signs in the Scripture.
The Bible says "In the beginning God…" The Bible never argues the existence of God, it never defends it. It simply proclaims it. I quoted the Apostle Paul earlier as saying,
"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
What is he saying? Simply this – that one of the greatest and most clear signs God ever gave to man is His creation! Look around! Man can look at the things that are made and recognize God’s eternal power and Godhead! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Creation needs a Creator! From the smallest organisms on earth to the vastness of our solar system, every atom and molecule runs with an exact precision that nothing could cause but God Himself! Look at the trees and the birds and the rivers and the rocks and the orbits in space and anything else you want to and all you’ll see is an intelligent Creator.