Summary: Can you really see what God sees?
By Pastor Jim May
After feeding the multitude with 7 seven loaves of bread and two small fish there were 12 baskets of fish and bread left over. But somehow the disciples had left and failed to take anything with them. Thus we find them, a little while later on a boat in the middle of the sea without any food.
Along the way they had crossed paths with a group of Pharisees; men who considered it their sacred duty to prove that Jesus was an imposter and a blasphemer. A good Pharisee would not believe anything unless they could see it with their own eyes. They relied totally upon signs and wonders, not upon faith. Sadly, without exercising faith, we can never understand the things of God for they are hidden from the natural mind.
1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
These Pharisees needed a sign before they would believe. “Jesus, we will believe that you are truly from God if you will give us a supernatural sign. Perform for us a miracle right here and now and we will believe.” They didn’t really want a sign and they had no intention of believing that Jesus was the Son of God. Even if Jesus had spoken an elephant into existence and had it float above their heads and speak to them in their Hebrew language, they would not have believed it. They would have simply said that it was a sorcerer’s trick. Their whole purpose was to trick Jesus and to trap him so they could bring an accusation against him.
But Jesus knew their heart and their intentions and he was not into playing games with this bunch of vipers. It grieved the Lord that these men, who were supposed to be among the spiritual leaders of Israel, refused to see him as their Messiah. It was a great disappointment to see the lack of faith in God’s chosen people. All they wanted were, “Signs”. Why would they want signs when the greatest “Sign” of all, the very Son of God stood before them? If they won’t accept Jesus, then they won’t accept anything.
They didn’t want that kind of sign. They wanted an extraordinary miraculous sign; something that only God could do and no magician. They sought a sign like making the sun stand still as it did in the days of Joshua, or the raining of manna from the sky as it did in their journey from Egypt in the time of Moses, of lighting and thunder on a clear day as it did when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and the Law on Mount Sinai, or perhaps the appearance of a perfect rainbow on a clear morning as we see after the flood of Noah’s time.
Jesus wasn’t about to be relegated to the position of a circus side show just to please the Pharisees and Sadducees. He left them standing there, fuming because they couldn’t trap him, and entered into a boat with the disciples to get away.
Do you know some people like that? They are always searching for a sign. A lot of Christians are like Gideon in the Old Testament. They want God to give them a sign before they will make a move. Lord, let the sun shine during a thunderstorm – No wait, that happens anyway. Let’s see, let my yard be the only place where rain falls. No, that might happen naturally. Lord, I know, let my boss walk up to me tomorrow morning and make me the vice-president of the company. I know that if that happens, then I must be in your perfect will.
Many are only convinced of the existence of God if they can see a “miracle”. Millions of people have made the arduous journey to a tiny village in the Bosnia-Herzegovina province of Central Yugoslavia. There they climb to very top of a rugged mountain where many have seen the Virgin Mary appear in the sky and speak to them. It’s called the Miracle of Medugorje. We are people who look for a sign.
Some people take crop circles and designs that seem to appear out of nowhere in the middle of a cornfield to be a “sign”.
Why do we need “signs” when we have Jesus in our heart? That’s the only sign you need. This life is to be a life of faith and not sight.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7, "For we walk by faith, not by sight"
Let’s learn to have faith in Jesus, not trust in signs. The devil can also create signs and wonders, but his signs are only lies and they are given but for one purpose – to lead men and women away from the truth of God’s Word and His will.