The Signs of the Times

“One Year Bible” New Testament Passage
Matthew 115:29-16:12

And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. Matthew 16:3 (ESV)

The Pharisees wanted Jesus to give them a sign.  Many people today want God to give us a sign.  We want some sort of outward indicator from God about what’s going on around us.  Or perhaps we want a special token of guidance.

During turbulent times, it is common for people to seek outward signs to interpet the hidden realities that shape our world.  Unfortunately, this desire for a sign from God can often degenerate into unbelief.  In other words, we want reassurance from God instead of simply trusting in WHO HE IS.

This is the contrast about which Jesus speaks in this passage.  It’s like trying to read the weather.  We really aren’t trying to determine ABSOLUTES when we ask about the weather.  We are asking about PROBABILITES.  Our weather forecasters will predict “20% chance of rain” or “80% cloudy” today. 

God’s kingdom does not operate on the basis of probabilites or percentages.  Jesus said we are to “discern” or “interpret” the “signs of the times.”  That means we are to look at God’s Word, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and then trust God with all our hearts.

God does not give signs simply to overcome our skeptical natures.  God doesn’t try to talk you into trusting Him.  He says instead, “Know Who I Am!”  “Know what I have said.”  “See clearly what I want to do.”  Then trust Him with all your heart.  That is what it means to correctly “interpret” or “discern” our times.

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