Show Us a Sign! | John 2.18
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” John 2:18 | ESV
Then the Jewish religious establishment quickly delivered their response to Jesus’ bold action, pressing him publicly, “What sign, what prophetic credentials can you show us all right here and now for what you’re doing?” MAV
“Let us not forget…that our life is a pilgrim’s progress, and that we are strangers on the earth, but that we have a God and Father who preserves strangers, and that we are all brothers.” ~ van Gogh
One of my favorite scenes in Bruce Almighty is when, on that desperate night, driving in the rain, Bruce is trying prayer, asking for a sign. And a truckload of signs literally pulls in front of him with angelic chorus added for our benefit – just so we don’t miss it, since Bruce obviously does. Here’s the irony in this scene transpiring in the temple courtyard on that warm spring day in Jerusalem. Jesus is the ultimate Sign of the Father’s face, of God’s heart, of Divine Love. And they were asking the Sign for a sign. It makes me think of the Doctor holding up the “psychic paper” that shows whoever’s examining them whatever credentials they are asking for, when, in fact, the Doctor is the credential, and he carries the authority within himself, as they quickly see. But so often we don’t as we stand there, asking the Word for a word, the Proof for more proof, the Sign for another sign. Echoing the Apostle Paul, Peterson captures our clamoring for more consumable miracles so aptly: “While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s ‘weakness’” (1 Corinthians 1:22-25, The Message). Yeah. That captures it. Captures us. We’re all standing in that courtyard, aren’t we, confronted by the Word that would dare overturn our tables and halt our orderly parade, looking Miracle in the face as we defiantly ask him to produce a miracle. Jews and Greeks don’t have a corner on this market. This is humanity’s domain.
When have you found yourself challenging God for more proof, for a sign, for a demonstration, for an explanation? What happened? What did you end up seeing?
Lord, thank you for bearing with me in my demands for more. More proof, more explanation, more evidence, more, more, and more. Bring me to a place where in experiencing the Miracle of your Face I can truly experience, deep down, that this is enough, and be at peace. Through Christ.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.