FEB. 15. ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 6. MON. MK. 8. 11-13.
The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.
The issue raised here is a common one, even in 2021, namely the demand of non-believers for a “sign” that the teachings of Christ, and his claimed Divinity, should be believed, with the implication that ‘after we see this sign; - we will believe”!
Actually, the request is quite reasonable for an unbeliever as we live in a society which seeks “evidence” or “proof” of every claim, and without such evidence people will just not believe.
The only weakness in this argument however, when it comes to the Christian Faith, is that there has been abundant evidence provided; - but the unbelievers prefer to ignore this simple truth.
Those who do not believe also need to give an explanation for their refusal to believe; - why are you unable to see the multitude of “signs” that have already been provided? The only satisfactory answer to this question is they are both blind and stubborn.
The multitude of “signs” they have already been provided with are the numerous miracles that Christ has already performed; - and in front of large multitudes; - and one is entitled to ask why the unbelievers choose to ignore these?
Immediately before this challenge from the Pharisees, Christ provided them with a very clear “sign”, in that, after speaking with five thousand people on an isolated mountain Christ “produced” enough food to feed them all!
It would be hard to imagine a more convincing “sign”, but as we know there were many more instances, including the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and multitudes of examples where sick and crippled people were restored to good health; - instantly, on Christ’s command.
This is a serious issue here for unbelievers, as Christ did provide many signs; - and he did this for the specific reason; - to demonstrate that he was sent by God and, as a result of the multitude of “signs”; - he should be believed.
He agreed with the Pharisees that “signs” were necessary. The only issue remaining then was to ask them why they were unable to “see” all the signs that had already been reported to them!
Even my own Faith, in 2021, is founded on these same signs, in that they demonstrate Christ is who he claims to be, namely the Son of God, with the ultimate “sign” being his rising from the dead after the Crucifixion.
The real reason the Pharisees, and multitudes of unbelievers today, do not believe is because of the implications that follow from becoming a believer! As soon as someone says “I believe” they are required to follow the teachings of Christ, and that is the real obstacle to their believing!
People are very reluctant to turn away from “The World, The Flesh, and The Devil!