Saturday, April 18, 2020


The crowds increased around Jesus, looking for a sign.  Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation.  It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah...The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here."  
Luke 11:29-32

Jesus often drew a crowd.  The people could see that Jesus held power, and maybe some even saw the good or could see God in what He did, but they wanted to use that power for their own definition of "good."  The crowd's interest was often less about relationship with him and more about getting what they wanted.  Those crowds wanted their own "sign," their own evidence for truth.  They often wanted a miracle that would satisfy them. 

 Jesus warned that any sign they received would not be what they expected.  How many times have you asked for something from God and didn't quite get what you wanted?  Maybe you found it lacking because it didn't fulfill your definition of "good."  

I have found that we like to dictate our requests to God to include the answer, as if he didn't know what we needed.  The truth is that we are the ones who don't always know what we need.  We go for relief, plenty or comfort, but what if "good" does not include ease?  What if God knows our requests are often limited to the present, the immediate? Imagine:  what if He knew better!    I think God is often saying to us, "Wait." "No." or "Better than this."

Jesus makes it clear that the "better" is repentance because that is what brings us the most of what we need - God himself.  Thus, He says the only "sign" would be one that compelled repentance, like what happened to the Ninevites.  Our sights are set low; we don't see the truth of what we need them most, so he adds,

"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.  Your eye is the lamp of your body.  When you eyes are healthy, your whole body is also full of light.  But when they are unhealthy, you body is also full of darkness.

See to it then, that the light within you is not darkness.  Then, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you."

Could the crowds see it?  Could their "eyes" allow for light or would they stay darkened to the truth of what they needed most?  And us, can we be enlightened about our need for repentance, and thus to be righteous, or darkened to sin and its consequences in our lives?  When we go to request something from God, do approach with our own pretentions or do we desire God?  

Repentance is our greatest chance to finally be as we were intended:  holy and present to God.

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