Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sometimes seeing is not believing

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 12:38-50

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.’
But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’” Matthew 12:38,39

I have often thought it would have been wonderful to live in the time of the Israelites to experience the exodus miracles, or the time of Jesus and see all the wonders He did firsthand. Then, I tell myself, I would have no trouble believing—in God, His existence, His power, His goodness, His ability to keep me.

The scribes and Pharisees were witnesses too. They had seen many of Jesus’ signs. Yet they still resisted believing in Him. It’s like they had a set mold in their mind of how things must be, of how Messiah would look and what He would do. Jesus didn’t fit into that mold and as a result, all their rationalizing abilities were spent on explaining how He could not be who He claimed to be (including the claim that He was doing miracles by the power of Satan - Matthew 12:24).

All the grumbling and mistrust of the Israelites (despite what they’d seen and experienced), as well as this passage remind us—faith didn’t necessarily follow sight.

I would submit we moderns aren’t so different. If, for example, we have ruled out the possibility of a creator, then any evidence of intelligent creation is tossed out, to be replaced by theories that are far more fanciful and far-fetched than any creation story, and demand a lot more faith. (You could call it ABC faith—Anything But Creation faith.)

The sign Jesus left the Scribes and Pharisees with (His resurrection - Matthew 12:40), was, not surprisingly, also rationalized away by them (Matthew 28:11-14).

The question we might ask ourselves on reading this passage is, "How is faith conceived and kept strong with or without signs?"

Based on the stubborn disbelief of these religious leaders, it’s my conviction that faith in God and Jesus is first a decision to open our minds to His existence and all that that implies (as described in the Bible). When we do that, so much of history and modern life falls into place.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to see and live life through the lens of Your existence, death, and resurrection, that is, through faith. Amen.

"Sometimes the very presence of God is barred by our presuppositions and our intense and constant desire for triumph." - Ravi Zacharias (Source: Brainy Quotes)

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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