Monday July 27, 2020
Today’s Scripture: Mark 8:11-13
11 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” 13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.
The Pharisees get a lot of flak in the book of Mark – and rightfully so. They are constantly after Jesus on one point or another. They are the foils to the Kingdom that Jesus is trying to demonstrate.
In this particular passage they want some “proof” that Jesus is the real deal. They want a sign. Even though Jesus has already healed a lot of people and fed thousands with just a few supplies, they still were demanding that he prove himself by once more jumping through one of their hoops.
Those in prevailing power do this a lot don’t they? When someone comes along with a different idea or a call for justice that might rattle the status quo, the existing power structure demands some sort of “sign” that the new thing is legitimate. However, usually the sign they want is nothing more than a hurdle placed in front of the new thing. There is usually no desire to accept the new. Rather, just a desire to keep it at bay – no matter how many times the new thing actually jumps over the hurdle.
Jesus was having none of it. He just decides to go back to the other side of the lake.
I wonder where you might be today. Are you the one who is trying to jump over someone else’s hurdles? Or are you the one demanding a sign? Maybe even demanding a sign from God?
I believe when we come out of this pandemic life is going to be very different – and church life especially is going to be very different. We will be ready to join God in the new thing? Or will we be found putting up hurdles and demanding a sign?
God forgive us for the hurdles we place in front of the things you are doing. Forgive us for demanding signs when we should just be getting on with what you are calling us to do. Help us this day to see you and follow you – no matter what.