Verse of the Day Devotion. Mark 8:11
“And the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him.” – Mark 8:11
Now this is an interesting scripture, for here the Pharisees were testing Jesus again regarding proof of what He declared regarding Himself. We see this in our focus verse, “And the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him.” Mark 8:11. Considering the number of miracles Jesus had already performed as well as the types of miracles, it is surprising at first that the Pharisees would ask for another. Readers today need to realize that miracles were quite common in ancient times, whether they were real or in people’s imagination, and the fact that a person performed miracles did not by itself make him an exceptional person. What the Pharisees wanted was not another healing or exorcism but a sign from heaven, an incredible manifestation, a dramatic sign from the sky, something similar to Elijah’s fire from heaven. “Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that Thou, O LORD, art God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench.” 1 Kings 18:37-38.
Jesus was frustrated by this request and replies as such. “And sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” Mark 8:12. In Matthew’s version He gives the type of sign they will be shown. “But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:39-40. They sought some direct miracle from heaven. Jesus replied that no such miracle would be done for them. He did not mean He would work no more miracles or give no more evidence that he was the Christ, but he would give no such miracle as they required. He would give one that ought to be satisfactory evidence to them that he was from God, as the miraculous preservation of Jonah was to the Ninevites. As Jonah was preserved three days by a miracle and then restored alive, so he would be raised from the dead after three days. On this miracle, the Ninevites believed Jonah and repented, so, on the ground of his resurrection, the people of an adulterous and wicked generation ought to repent and believe that he was from God.
The only sign Jesus would give them was His resurrection from the dead. This should be sufficient, but as we know it was not. Few scribes and Pharisees would be saved, not because they could not accept it, but would not accept it. They did not want to give up the authority they had over the Jewish people. We need to be careful that we understand all that Jesus did for us and place Him over everything else in our lives. He gave everything, including His life for us. We must be willing to give our everything to Jesus, including our lives.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.