We need Signs
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Matthew 12:38–39
Some of the scribes and pharisees are asking for a sign from Jesus. In a scientific generation like us (are we scientific is a good question raised by many?), a demand for a sign seems a very normal thing. But the reply of Jesus was really strong. How we might understand the reply of Jesus?
- If we see the 12th chapter of Mathew, things are already tense in the entire chapter. There are many criticisms on the healings of Sabbath; comparing of Jesus to Beelzebul etc. In such a context, the purpose of this question is never to understand, but to put Jesus into trouble.
- His talking partners in this episode are pharisees and scribes, and not people who doesn’t know scriptures. So probably they have all the learning to recognise the “finger of God” in the acts of Jesus, which they didn’t.
- And probably the most important reason for me is that Jesus never does anything for himself, or to prove anything related to him. He had done a lot of signs (or miracles) for the sake of the suffering people.
What are my takeaways from this passage?
- Having signs to prove may be a good aspect in scientific matters, but matters related to God (or even human relations) don’t work like that.
- Signs of God’s love or human relationships do exist; probably an invitation is not to ask for signs, but to read/review our lives to recognise them already present in our lives.
A question remains….. if the dialogue partner of Jesus was a non-jew, whether his response would have been same or in similar lines ?