Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2014

A sign from heaven

By Pastor Jim Stiles, Washington United Methodist Church | Nov 07, 2012

I invite you to read the Gospel of Mark 8:11-13, “The Pharisees came and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him.”

To which Jesus sighed deeply. …

To which Jesus said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?”

To which Jesus then said, “No sign shall be given to this generation.”

And then he left them.

Like the Pharisee, when I look at the hurt and violence happening in our world, I find myself longing for a sign from heaven, that will show me that loving others as Jesus loved, is going to change the world.

When this happens, I find myself inside of the Pharisee’s heart, longing for a physical sign, an outward sign, a sign that will prove to the world that God is worthy to be followed.

For seeing people on their knees, seeing people cleaning up blood and giving food, does not seem to be transforming the world. It doesn’t seem to be stopping people from hurting each other.

IT IS AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND I invited you to hear the words of Jesus when he said, “How many more miracles do you people need?”

“Why does this generation seek a sign?”

“Look! No sign will be given.”

To paraphrase, Jesus said, “I have forgiven the man who was paralyzed, I have healed the man with withered hands, I have welcomed home the prodigal son, I have embraced his older brother. I will be suffering and dying on the cross. How much more do I need to do for you? Are these not enough signs?”

After saying that, Jesus got back into the boat and left them.

Reflecting on this story, I heard Jesus saying,

“Those who have eyes will see …

And those with ears will hear.

But those who are on the outside will not.

Those who discover that Jesus is God, the greatest single Sign, will become living signs in their generation.

Those who demand an outward sign will not have one given.

But those who have experienced God’s healing personally will not need a sign,

But will rather become a sign of God’s power and healing in the world.”

My prayer is that you will become a sign of God’s power and healing.

 

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