Thursday, April 25, 2013
Miracles on Demand
Matt. 12:38 ¶ Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
Matt. 12:39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Matt. 12:40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth.
Matt. 12:41 The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!
Jesus had just completed miracles of healing in the sight of these religious leaders but now, they had the audacity to stand before him and ask him to "perform" for them. They had even accused him of being in partnership with the Devil. But what they had seen was not enough for them and they wanted to be able to ask for "Miracles on Demand." This angered Jesus and he called them out as an "evil and adulterous generation." With whom had they committed adultery? With God, himself, for he had declared in Jer. 3:14 “'Return, faithless people,'” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion." They were no longer faithful to the Lord and yet they wanted the benefits of the relationship!
Jesus hinted that there would be a miracle they would soon encounter, but no doubt, it would still not get their attention. Jonah had been sent a sign to the people of Nineveh and had spent three days and nights in the belly of the sea monster. Jesus' time in darkness would end with the greatest miracle -- victory over sin and death. The people of Nineveh got it. The scribes and Pharisees did not.
It is so easy to sit back in condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees. How could they be so ignorant and demanding of the Son of God? And yet -- aren't we? How often is our prayer life tainted with personal requests, instead of a deep desire to get to know the Messiah. We, too, are looking for the miracles. We tell God that we will believe in him if only we see one more thing. I'm guessing he gets tired and wonders if we will ever understand that we have already witnessed the greatest miracle of all time.
Jesus is Risen! We are invited into a personal relationship with him in which we can experience the very power of his resurrection. This is power to set us free from the bondage of this life. How many more miracles do we need? And yet, there are days when we slip back into the "miracles on demand" mode.
Jesus is patient with us -- but maybe it's time to take him at face value. Resurrection power is available to us today. We need no other miracles to prove to us who he is; he is faithful and he does save us!
Lord, thank you so much for the miracle of the resurrection. Please, help me not to doubt, or try to manipulate for "miracles on demand." Amen.