38 At that time some of the legal experts and the Pharisees requested of Jesus, “Teacher, we would like to see a sign from you.” 39 But he replied, “An evil and unfaithful generation searches for a sign, but it won’t receive any sign except Jonah’s sign. 40 Just as Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights, so the Human One will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 41 The citizens of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it as guilty, because they changed their hearts and lives in response to Jonah’s preaching. And look, someone greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will be raised up by God at the judgment with this generation and condemn it because she came from a distant land to hear Solomon’s wisdom. And look, someone greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:38-42, CEB)
Why do we want a sign?
Is it easier for us to believe if we see something?
When I read passages like this I am reminded of The Santa Claus 2, which has the line, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”
When we believe something we see it. I can not explain it to you if you do not believe it and you will ask to see it so you can believe it. But you won’t see it until you believe it.
We want the empirical proof, but sometimes there isn’t any proof. That is where faith comes in. You see one of my favorite songs is Hold it up to the Light by David Wilcox. I listened to it a lot when I was trying to decide to go to seminary or not. Because there were so many reasons not to go. So many things that would keep me from doing this. But I needed to step out in faith. The song has these lines in: “I said God, will you bless this decision? I’m scared, Is my life at stake? But I see if you gave me a vision then I would never have reason to use my faith?” We don’t have to see it to trust in God.
Don’t ask for a sign, believe the promise, and step out in faith.
And here is the David Wilcox song for your listening enjoyment: