Sign of Jonah
And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red. ’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening. ’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed. Matthew 16:1-4 (ESV)
How quickly I forget the majesty of our Gracious God. I am fast to forget the completion of the greatest act of love ever. I replace the awesomeness of the punishment, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus with the sinful desires of my idol filled heart. How marvelous is it to be forgiven of my Pharisaical heart.
As I read the passage this morning, I was initially attracted to and enjoyed the criticism given to the men who had come to test Jesus. Like the Pharisee who was praying next to the tax collector, I was “thankful” that I was not like these men. But the Spirit convicted me on this, and for that I am grateful. As we (I) trudge, work and trust through this support raising process, I find myself telling others of God’s amazing provisions to us so far. But if I am honest, my motives are not always of one praising God for his goodness to me, they are quite often motivated by a desire to “see” how God will prove his goodness by providing the rest of our support. Like the Pharisees, I am testing God.
Please forgive me Father!
What greater sign of His goodness do I need than the “sign of Jonah“? Do I need some divine fundraising manual provided to me to know that my Heavenly Father loves me? NO! I need no further proof than this:
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation
How I long for the day when my sinful heart and flesh will be restored. When all of these “light momentary afflictions” and trials will be revealed for the tools that they are and that I will see the eternal “weight of glory” that is promised in Christ Jesus. Looking to the future instead of the present is such a liberating experience. I pray that my eyes will be and stay affixed on the things unseen and not looking for visible signs in this world.