“He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” (Mark 8: 11-13)
Everyone is looking for a sign: a sales sign, a “Next best and greatest thing!” sign, a “This is the way!” sign
… I suppose we’re all just looking for hope and direction.
And then Jesus sighed deeply: “Truly, I tell you, no sign will be given to it.”
Not only that, then he heals and says, “Go, don’t tell anyone.”
Wait, WhAAt?! What’s up with that? Why would Jesus not want to give hope, or let the world know the amazing things that are happening? Why seclude Himself with a band of twelve unschooled ruffians wandering the streets, crisscrossing the lake, and living with “no place to rest His head?”
Why not, instead, put out a neon sign, set up a tent, and let all His signs and wonders travel by “word of mouth” to draw a larger crowd that needs Him?
It’s obvious, Jesus was never about personal fame. He came to do what he saw the Father doing. Period. It was never about the outer trappings of this life; it is always about the inside stuff. The seed planting. The kingdom building. The servant serving.
Signs and wonders follow Jesus – no doubt – but it is Jesus the Word himself that give life.
Signs and wonders are stepping stones for the unbelieving – natural extensions of a loving God. They are never meant to be the main attractions – or even a side show. They are a call to follow.
Signs and wonders are wonderful gifts but the goal is and has always been to gather the lost, herd the sheep, lead them through the shadow of Death and bring them home to a loving Father.
The sign and wonder of this Jesus stuff is Faith displacing fear. Love destroying death. Heaven touching Earth. It is not about a new word from God – or the latest and greatest anything. It’s about hearts following hard after the only Word from God that we will ever need.
The Way. The Truth. The Life. The Good Shepherd. The Gate. The Bread from heaven. The First. The Last. The Servant King. Emmanuel. Counselor. Everlasting Father. The Great I Am. The Door. The Light. The Bright and Morning Star.
We need no other “wonder” but the Truth of following hard after him.
We need nothing but the grace of forgiveness, the commission of reconciliation and the miracle of allowing the God of the average Joes and Janes, the me’s and you’s – to make us into Fishers of men like he said he would.
Fishers of men who are familiar with patience. Those not scared to get up early, stay up late, and get stinky. Heart anglers familiar with storms, loneliness, and hardship, lifting up the name of Jesus so he can draw all men to himself.
It’s all about thanking the Father for our few loaves and fishes, passing them out to those in need – those he’s died for-
and watching his love do the rest.
… it doesn’t ever need to be more
Jesus, I’m just a plain Jane. Either my life will show your love for me and for others, or it won’t. You’ve put a few people in my life to affect, infect, with your love. And it’s enough for me to share my life by following you, and the example you gave. Purely. Simply. In Spirit and in truth…