Daily Reflection and Prayer
From the High Calling of our Daily Work:
BY Mark D. Roberts, Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence
Demanding a Sign
“Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but
the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then
Jesus left them and went away.
When Jesus failed to live up to the messianic expectations of the Jewish
leaders, they demanded him to show a miraculous sign (as if he hadn’t
done plenty already!). Jesus rejected their demand, though adding that
he would give “the sign of the prophet Jonah.” In Matthew 12:40, Jesus
explained that this sign was his resurrection. Even as Jonah was in the
belly of the fish for three days, so Jesus would be in the earth. But then,
like Jonah, he would be miraculously brought back into this world.
It’s terribly easy for us to think we can set the terms of our relationship
with Jesus. We decide the hoops he needs to jump through, and then we tell
him to jump in our prayers. If Jesus doesn’t come through for us, we can
question his goodness, even his existence. Our challenge is to accept Jesus
on his terms and to receive the revelation he has given to us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have there ever been times in your life when you
wanted God to make himself known to you in a miraculous way? What happened?
How do you maintain your faith in God when he doesn’t respond to your agenda?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I can imagine how readily I would have fallen in with
the religious leaders. Believing in you is hard sometimes, and I wouldn’t
mind an extra sign or two along the way. Of course, you have made your
presence and power known to me throughout my life. But, still, I can come
to you demanding more.
Help me, Lord, to believe in you on the basis of what you have done in
history and in my own life. When I doubt, remind me of all the ways you
have revealed yourself, most of all in Jesus, and in his resurrection.
May my faith in you be rock solid as I base it upon you. Amen.
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