Read Mark 8:11-26
There are times when walking in faith is harder than at other times. When I am tired, when ministry is more of a chore than a blessing, when people have disappointed, hurt, or betrayed me, I can find it hard to believe in the love of God. When the times of trial come upon me, I need a sign of God’s love. I need to stop and look, not at the present situation, but look back and remember the times that Jesus has been there for me. The times he has healed me, comforted me, and saved me from myself. I ask, when was the last time I KNEW the presence of the Lord? Then start over there.
This is what is happening in today’s reading. The Pharisees want a sign, a miracle to prove that Jesus is Messiah. He has just fed 4000 people with a small portion of bread and a few small fish. And you want a sign? Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, no sign will be given.” He then warns the disciples to “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” The disciples are tired. They have traveled to Sidon, then to the Decapolis, and now are making their way back to Galilee. They have ministered to the crowds, and have been faithful in serving the Lord. Their thoughts are not straight. They think He is criticizing them. They hear the questions of the Pharisees. They need a sign of His love.
In good Jewish fashion Jesus asks them a question. Did you not see the sign of My provision? Do you not yet realize that I can provide bread for you from next to nothing? Essentially Jesus is telling them, Don’t be like the Pharisees or Herod. Be with Me! I have been there for you from the beginning. I am with you now. I will be with you regardless of the temporal circumstances. I AM. And to punctuate the claim, Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida. As John records, “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind” (9:32). Do we need a sign? No we need a relationship with the One Who loves us. He never disappoints.