Lesson 38

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

8:10 Immediately he entered into the boat with his disciples, and came into the region of Dalmanutha. 8:11 The Pharisees came out and began to question him, seeking a sign from heaven from him, and tempting him. 8:12 He sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Most assuredly I tell you, there will no sign be given to this generation."  

Today's Lesson 

Mark has been writing about the popularity of Jesus with the vast majority of the Jewish people that were living in Galilee. Crowds of people would follow Jesus around wherever He went. They would bring out the sick and the lame and Jesus would heal them. But, there were two groups of people who followed Jesus around for other reasons. The scribes and the Pharisees sent people to follow Jesus around for another reason. They were trying to gather evidence about Jesus and about the things that He was teaching. They were seeking to find something about which they could accuse Jesus.


In Today's Scriptures, Mark tells us of the time when Pharisees came and began to question Jesus and demand a sign from Him. Mark tells us that they were "tempting Him." This is a theme of the Holy Scriptures. When people doubt the prophet they began to demand a sign to confirm that the prophet is of God. But, those people for whom God has opened their eyes, a "sign" is not necessary. The revelation of God itself is a sign. When the truth of God comes into your heart and your mind, there can be no greater sign.


Jesus had been performing great miracles. The sick were healed. Demons were driven out. The deaf were made to hear and the dead were raised. But, these people wanted a "sign." They wanted something that would convince them and that would verify the authority of Jesus. Jesus had fed five thousand people with a few loaves of bread and some fish. Not long after that He had fed four thousand people again in a similar manner. But, these men demanded a sign from heaven.


But, these men are not much different from you or I. Even today, when we are under stress, we want a sign from God. If things do not go our way, we want God to assure of His presence. It does not matter that God has done everything for us already. It does not matter that God has redeemed us and lifted us up to sit with Christ at His right hand. There is still something inside us that would like to have another sign from God as well. Even after a hundred signs already.


When we demand a sign from God about something in our lives it is because we don't trust God. We have a decision to make and we ask God to give us a sign to tell us the right thing to do. We ask for a sign because we have doubts and we want to be assured that God accepts us. But God accepts us based on the life and death of Jesus Christ, not on the other decisions that we make in life. When we become part of the body of Christ we are completely loved and accepted by the Father. Our acceptance in Christ is all the sign we will ever need and that can only be gained through faith.


Jesus tells the Pharisees and His own disciples that, "there will no sign be given to this generation." The activity of God can only be seen through the eyes of faith. When we refuse to see what God has accomplished in our lives through faith, there is no other sign. All around us God is doing miraculous things. The sick are healed. The deaf are caused to hear. Even the dead live. But, these things can only be experienced through faith. No other sign can be given to this generation.


Would you like a sign from God? Are you ready to receive it through faith?


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