Summary: The opposition then and now wants signs from Christ before they can proclaim Him as their Lord. He refuses to give any more signs of who He is because He has given all the signs that are necesssary for anyone to beleive in Him.
SIGN SEEKERS SUFFOCATE SALVATION
A. The Spurious.
B. The Sages.
C. The Sophisticated.
II. THE SAVIOUR: **
A. The Sorrow.
B. The Supplication.
C. The Soliloquy.
III. THE SEPARATION: ***
A. The Suddenness.
B. The Soberness.
C. The Safety.
Jesus never seemed to escape the people, regardless of what He did or did not do. Mark picks up the life of Jesus after the miracle of feeding the Four Thousand. He does not give us a time line as to when this meeting occurred with the Pharisees; was it immediately after the miracle as the text seems to suggest? Mark does tell us that Jesus departed from the mob of now satiated people and went to Dalmanutha. Once there He met with a group of Pharisees that came seeking a sign from Him. Whether the two sets of Scripture go together or not, the text reveals some disturbing news about the ones who seek for a sign from Christ rather than accepting Christ as He is.
I see three things in this passage of Scripture that reveal a great deal about those who cannot or will not live by faith, but seek signs for proof of the Divinity of Christ. This problem did not die with the last of the Pharisees, but has continued on through out the ages, reaching into our modern world and the Church of Christ in this century. Millions of people want proof of this or that before they will yield themselves to Christ. He rejects this out of hand and rightly so. We come to Christ and believe in Him because He is and not what He can do. This critical junction has caused many to turn down the wrong path and to miss the beauty of salvation. Seeking Signs does Suppress Salvation.
The three things I note here are THE SEEKERS, not only then but always, that constantly want proof of Christ’s Divinity before they believe in Him. The second part of my text has to do with THE SAVIOUR, Himself. Mark gives us a clue as to the true feelings of Jesus in this short passage by the way He responded to the curious that day. Finally, the third part of my text captures my attention when I view the actions of Christ in THE SEPARATION from the Pharisees that day and from those who still ask the same questions as they did.
* THE SEEKERRS: Would it not be nice if all the world would seek Jesus as its Saviour and take Him at His word? This has not been the case. In Jesus’ time there were those who were interested in Him, but wanted something more from Him. They always wanted just a little bit more information about Him, i.e. from where did He come? where did He study? who were His parents? would He do some sensational signs? etc. And the demands never seemed to end. Such is the case before us today. The Pharisees came seeking a sign from Him. This word, “sign” was more than just mere miracles as He had done before. This word signifies something extra, something out of the ordinary, something from above, some sign that would come from the skies: a bolt of lightening, an eclipse of the sun upon command, or some celestial portent. This was what the Pharisees were asking that day and they were disappointed in His response to them.
Regarding the ones who have sought for signs from Jesus I list the ones who are the most wicked: The Spurious ones. These, like the Pharisees, come seeking signs, not to believe in Him but to prove Him to be who He said He was/is. One has to wonder how much more these self-inflated, so called Seekers, wanted to see from Him or about Him, before they would believe in Him. Their mission was not to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour but as their political leader. They would follow Him, if He could call down lightening bolts upon the Romans and stun them with His power. They were interested in this life only and not in eternity. “Show us a sign,” they clamored, “and we will fall in step with you.” “Give us some supernatural signal that You are mighty and that You have come to set up an earthly kingdom and we will be your vanguard,” they clamored.
One has to wonder where these Spurious ones were when the Heaven filled with angels at the Birth of the Messiah. Where were these so called intelligent ones when Jesus raised the dead, cast out demons, healed the sick, caused the storms to cease, and turned the water into wine? What more proofs were they demanding from Him? In reality, they were not interested in any of signs already given. The “signs’ they wanted, they longed for, they desired, were pure political hocus-pocus to terrify the Romans and their opposition. They were not seeking signs for helping the sin sick, the down and out and the lost sheep of Israel; no, their hearts, their desires, their drive was to put Christ on the spot, have Him do some stupendous, un-spiritual thing, and then they would claim Him as King. Jesus knew this and would not rise to the bait. “Show us a sign,” they said and Jesus had already shown many signs, but they spurned them and wanted something that Jesus would not do.