Seeking Signs Is Evil
Matthew 12:39: But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
We ought to pay special attention to those words because they are the words of Jesus. In our time we have many who seek signs. Signs are for some people a substitute for what the Bible says or a substitute for faith in God. Some think that signs will increase their faith. Some are convinced that if they can just see a sign from God that they must be in the right place spiritually. Some think that there must be something wrong with them if they don*t see signs. Whatever benefit people *feel* when they think they have had a sign from the Lord does not last. When I have met Christians who are always looking for a sign I always think they are wasting time that they could be using to serve the Lord. Since Jesus said point blank that an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign I would be scared to death to seek one. As I read 1 Corinthians 5:7 I am more firmly convinced Christians are not to do that.
2 Corinthians 5:7: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
People do not come to faith in God by only what they see or experience. They come to faith in Him by hearing His word. There is an incomplete hearing of His word that does not lead to faith. Fully hearing his word is hearing it, believing it and obeying it. Without the obedience the hearing of it is incomplete.
Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Some people told Jesus that if He worked miracles for them they would believe. Jesus knew it did not work that way.
Matthew 27:42: He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
Some people actually tried to blame Jesus for their unbelief. They thought they had not seen enough or heard enough.
John 10:24-26: Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father*s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Witnessing Jesus* good works actually angered some people because they did not want to believe that He was and is God. Seeing His good works did not lead them to faith in Him.
John 10:31-33: Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
The sign of Jonas was that Jonas had been swallowed by a big fish, was in the fish*s belly (dead) three days and the fish threw him up on the shore alive. Jonas was dead for three days and was then resurrected which is a picture of Jesus being dead three days and then resurrected. Except for Jonas* generation the Jews had not seen him. They were expected to believe it even though they had only been told about it.
Some people have seemed to be converted by something they saw. But I want to point out that they heard the word of God along with it. The Apostle Doubting Thomas saw Jesus work miracles for three years but still had trouble believing. He said he would not believe unless he saw the wounds on Jesus hands and side. When Jesus showed him His wounds He also spoke. (He is God therefore His words are the Word of God.)
John 20:27-29: Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
The next few verses report that Jesus did many signs. It does not say that they were done so that we might believe. It says that they were written that we might believe.
John 30-31: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Jesus gave many of His disciples the power to work signs and miracles so that the people of that time would believe that they represented God and that the books of the Bible they wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit would be accepted as God*s Word. In our time we have the Bible which is God*s vehicle to lead us to faith in Him today. God is still in the business of miracles and the greatest miracle is the Bible.