Lent – Day 19 – Jesus Questions

“Why do you people keep demanding a miraculous sign?” (Mark 8:12)

Okay. So what is it with Mark 8? We have over 90 questions of Jesus in the Gospels, but I keep pulling questions from Mark 8. This is the fifth one! For a moment I considered slipping this one back into the cup and drawing another. But I’m trusting the Lord’s leading in this process. Apparently there’s more to learn from Mark 8. 🙂

“Why do you people keep demanding a miraculous sign?”

MiraclesRecently I watched a video from a church that has “glory clouds, floating gold dust, and falling feathers” appear in their services. Spectacular stuff, but it’s not new. Similar things happened in Toronto, Canada and Pensacola, Florida in the past. I’m not assessing the validity of the claims, but these phenomena sure draw a crowd.

People continue to crave the extraordinary. We want proof of the supernatural. We’re easily wowed by the wonderful. I can be that way, too. The crowd around Jesus certainly hoped for something special, but all they got that day was this odd question.

“Why do you people keep demanding a miraculous sign?”

Why not just  knock their socks off with a miracle, sign, or wonder? It would confirm Jesus’ credentials, draw others to follow Him, and further His Kingdom. Surely. But wait just a moment. Years ago, a pastor/mentor of mine told me that “What you win people with, is what you win people to” and I’ve found that to be consistently true.

If people come because of the miracle, they will only stay for a miracle. We’re funny that way. We can form an expectation in a heart-beat, and Jesus seemed to know it. He had no interest in a celebrity ministry. Popularity did not matter to Him. Indeed, quite the opposite, He knew full well that He would call His disciples to lives of surrender, submission, and obedience. He understood that His followers must be ready to live contentedly with little or nothing.

Pumping out miracles on demand may impress people, but it does not really prepare people to “share in the sufferings of Christ.”

Nothing has changed. Human nature remains the same. I am as vulnerable as the next person to want the amazing manifestations of God. But if I need this, or even regularly seek it, my attention may shift from the Giver to the gift and I’ll begin to pursue the experience not the Person.

“Why do you people keep demanding a miraculous sign?”

Lent can easily become a season of seeking the spectacular. We fast; God kicks into gear. Or so we hope. On this 19th day of Lent, let’s long for His Presence rather than His performance.

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6 Responses to Lent – Day 19 – Jesus Questions

  1. Marc says:

    Keep them coming David….absolutely ‘spot on’ !!

  2. Steve McNally says:

    Thank you Dr Timms. Poignant words of wisdom. I am reminded once again that the presence of God is what we seek, need and require. May we all fall into the arms of our loving and righteous God. Steve

  3. Kenneth Wadum says:

    “What we win people with, is what we win them to.” What does it appear from scripture was Jesus’ PRIMARY message for attracting people to HIs message: Yes their were miracles and times of intense teaching. However, from his own mouth come the words: “They will know that you are my disciples by the way that you love one another.” Not by how many exciting programs, events, music, floodlights, and self-help programs you offer. (Some of which are legitimate to offer as part of ministering to the body.) Demonstrating unconditional love to others is always more difficult and threatening than entertaining them. But the result for Jesus was followers who were willing to and did die for him.

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