What Do You See?
11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. 14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” 16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. 20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” 22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” The New International Version. (2011). (Mk 8:11–27). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
If we are honest with ourselves, we are looking for a sign as well. We want to know that God will protect and provide for us. We want to see evidence of God’s work in the history of nations, proving that God will bring justice, truth, and righteousness to our planet.
The disciples didn’t realize that they had already seen the signs when the five thousand and the four thousand were fed. They didn’t know that Jesus wasn’t concerned about bread because he knew that he could feed the disciples and himself.
We don’t realize that we have also seen the signs in the ways that Jesus worked in his earthly ministry and in the ways that he works through the church today. The amazing accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement and the East German pastors and the peaceful resolution to South Africa were all signs that God is still working through the church.
Now we see the signs again as churches work to overcome the isolation caused by this virus. People are dropping food off on doorsteps. People are communicating online, by phone, and even from balconies. I hope you can see the signs too.