Mk 8:11-13 Demanding A Sign
We know, from Christ’s parable, that even “if a man were to return from the dead”, people still would not believe in him. The problem is not the demand for a sign. The problem is what the sign demands: opened eyes. The Lord gave us eyes to see and ears to hear. We have received the gifts of faith, hope and love. Are we using them? Are we using what the Lord has freely given?
Those who oppose Christ refuse to see and to believe what Jesus said and did. Any stick is good enough to beat Christ over the head with, and the results are always the same, devastating. The Scribes and Pharisees preferred the release of a murderer over Jesus. To crucify Him, they made concessions that would make the prophets and Patriarchs of old blush. They conceded that Cesar was their friend and King. They relied on force; on false witnesses and lies to get their way and, near the end, as they turned their backs on the Son of God, they witnessed the beginning of the end of their own destruction and the destruction of the Holy Temple. Those who oppose the Lord will always regret what they have done.
Do we still meet people like this? Yes. Those who shout for Barabbas rather than Jesus! Those who prefer a false or counterfeit idol (Bar-abbas literally means “son of the father”) over the Real presence (Jesus literally means “God who saves”).
They demand a sign of God’s favor and no sign shall be given to them. After all, it is not a sign from God that they demand but their sign. They shout, “Show us a sign so that we may believe!” Over and over again, they wish to limit the infinite. And there is only One who is infinite and that is the infinite God of infinite love. For this reason the Lord dismisses their requests but continues to surprise and surpass those who place no demands or limits upon Him. He will not come down from the Cross; He will rise from the dead. He does not give until it hurts. He will give till his last breathe.
I cry to the Lord, “Show me a sign of your love for me?” What sign can you give to me? I need a sign from my Love. Show me Lord that you still care about me, please! But wait. Have I forgotten? To be totally honest with you, I have. I asked myself this question and searched for an answer. The reason for the delay in my answer is due to my cloudy vision and poor hearing. And these are the consequences of my daily sins. They cloud my thoughts and wound my heart; they deaden my senses to the wonder of it all! Of course the Lord loves me. Of course the Lord gives me a sign of his love. It is found etched into the crucifix. With a nail he writes, I love you to death! This is how my love shows his love for me.
My hope rests in the Lord. With time, we will come to see the goodness of the Lord. With time, opposition will cease. At first there will be, as always happens with those who rise by their own efforts, slander and calumnies. But then it will vanish entirely. This is the life the Lord invites for all of us. It is the life of Christ. This is the life of all Heroes, Legends and Saints. This is the trial that awaits us! Now, what is shocking and terrifying is the Lord asks a very similar question to me: “What sign will you give to me of your love?"