A large number of people stopped what they were doing to see and hear Jesus. What could go wrong? Sadly, something did.
Like any large gathering, some came as detractors. They claimed that Jesus was working side-by-side with Satan.
Other people appeared to come only to see miracles. The signs they asked for were a request for miracles to authenticate Jesus’ message.
Jesus and Signs
Jesus had something to say about the request for signs or miracles.
— Luke 11.29-32 – When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
“For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation.
“The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
“The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!”
Rudy Ross has spent a considerable amount of time studying this passage. I encourage you to listen to his thoughts on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel today.
Both Rudy and I agree that Jesus gave the crowd a warning. His strong words were designed to lead them to repentance.
People who refuse to trust Jesus unless he proves himself to their standard of judgment are called an “evil generation.”
It is evil for the creature to demand the Creator to conform to our evaluation.
Paul understood this quite well:
— Romans 1.19-22 – For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.
So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools.
Paul wrote about the condition of people who are unwilling to honor God and give him thanks. Their attitude was present in the crowd that sought a sign from Jesus.
Like Jonah, Jesus was a messenger of repentance.
Like the people of Nineveh and the queen of the South, the response of the crowd should have been a willingness to see Jesus and follow him.
Your Inner Self is Showing
People of the first century believed that the eye projected light. Jesus used that image to reveal the inside condition of the crowd.
— Luke 11.33-36 – “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness.
“Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness.
“If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”
I believe that Jesus used these words to appeal to the crowd to change their mind about him.
(1) He let them know that their inside condition was showing through their attitudes and actions toward him.
(2) Their inner self could either be “light” or “darkness.”
(3) They had followed Jesus to see him and to listen to his message.
They needed to follow him in faith and devote their lives to him.
If they did, they would be filled with light, the Light of the world (Jesus).
The reaction of the crowd to Jesus and his response should cause us to consider our own inside condition.
— Do we read Jesus’ words with the goal of adjusting our attitudes and actions to conform to his?
— Do we demand that Jesus meet our expectations before we are willing to follow him?
— Are we filled with gratitude and reverence in the presence of the Savior?
You will want to hear Rudy Ross explain his views of this passage in our YouTube video today. It is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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