Friday 11 March 2022

Matthew 16:1–4

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

Jesus is again condemning the Pharisees and Sadducees for their rejection of him as The Messiah. Here again they were asking him to prove himself to them – to show them a sign from heaven that proves he is the Messiah. The fact was they had already been shown plenty of signs that he was. Instead they rejected him mainly because he did not fit their preconceived ideal of the conquering Messiah come to free Israel. The ultimate sign Jesus refers to – the sign of Jonah by which he was referring to his death, burial and resurrection (see Matthew 12 v 40) – wasn’t going to convince them either – who ever heard of a conqueror being killed?

Of course, I can be just like the Pharisees and Sadducees when I ignore Jesus’ claims over my life. I decided to follow him, and this can come at a cost and make demands on me I’d rather avoid. Sometimes he does not answer my prayers in the way I’m wanting, or just seems to leave me to struggle on through situations. My ideas about how Jesus should be treating me are getting in the way of me being able to see him for who he is. He gently draws me back and says This is who I really am, walk with me.

I see so many signs in my life that Jesus is Lord. But many people have no concept of Jesus, let alone preconceived ideas. This passage challenges me to share Jesus with them so they can choose to follow him too.

Dear Lord Jesus

People of all eras have wanted to put you into a mould to suit their agenda. Thank you that your agenda is to have a relationship with each of us individually. That is such a blessing, coming out of your heart of love. I am so grateful. Amen.

Written by Claire Moore

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