At that time some of the legal experts and the Pharisees requested of Jesus, “Teacher, we would like to see a sign from you.” But he replied, “An evil and unfaithful generation searches for a sign, but it won’t receive any sign except Jonah’s sign. Just as Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights, so the Human One will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The citizens of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it as guilty, because they changed their hearts and lives in response to Jonah’s preaching. And look, someone greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will be raised up by God at the judgment with this generation and condemn it because she came from a distant land to hear Solomon’s wisdom. And look, someone greater than Solomon is here (Matthew 12:38-42, Common English Bible).
I was never much a fan of Jim Carey until Bruce Almighty came out. Before that movie, I thought the title of one of his earliest movies fit his body of work, Dumb and Dumber. That being said, I thought he was brilliant as Bruce.
Without question, one of my top five favorite movie scenes come from Bruce Almighty. Take a look (Click here).
How much are we like Bruce? At some point, just about all of us want a sign from God and yet we fail to open our eyes to see what God is doing right in front of us. We challenge God and ask God to speak to us and then at the end of it all, we say something like Bruce says, “Don’t know you. Wouldn’t call you if I did.”
I can’t help but think the legal experts and the Pharisees who were asking Jesus for a sign, had he given it to them, wouldn’t have been impressed. They, like Bruce would have ignored what God was doing right in front of them. Perhaps they would have attempted to explain the sign away. Perhaps they would have just ignored it, but either way, they would have missed the sign and then dismissed Jesus.
Before we go and get on our high horse, we need to think about how easy it can happen even to people like us.
I once knew a man who experienced a very clear call to ministry. Everyone around him could see it. He was waiting for a clear sign from God. I think he wanted to see things in sky writing or something. Every time he got a good clear sign, he would attempt in some way to explain everything he experienced away.
There is also the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. Gideon wanted a sign from God. He set out a fleece and wanted the dew on part and the rest was dry. Gideon wasn’t satisfied with that even though he was the one who decided on the sign. The next day he flipped the challenge. The part that was left dry was to be wet and the part that the dew had covered was to be left dry. Once again, God gave him the sign.
In the story of “Doubting Thomas” when Thomas sees Jesus and believes, “My Lord and my God,” Jesus responds by saying, “ Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe” (John 20:29, CEB). Jesus knew there would be those of us in the future that would never have the opportunity to experience life with Jesus in a physical way, yet many of us would still come to believe. Sometimes we may want a sign, but sometimes we still have to move forward on faith.
Before the movie was over, Bruce had gotten many signs. In the end, however, what changed in Bruce was his heart and it didn’t happen because of a sign. It happened because he opened himself up to God’s new possibilities.
What signs have you seen from God?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved