How do I know it’s a sign from God?
Vacation Next week- still preaching- still studying/writing on vacation- please don’t call/text
• Matthew 16:1-4 READ
• Whats going on in this story- well first off- the Pharisees and Sadducees find a common enemy
in Jesus and test him ‘show us a sign from heaven to prove you are messiah’. Jesus flips it back
on them and says- you declare the simplest of truths and the simple truth is that I am messiah.
You’re a hypocrite for not admitting it. You want a sign? You’re going to get one- the sign of
• Lets see what we can pull from this interaction today
- It’s a sign from God when you aren’t testing him
• V1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a
sign from heaven.
• A little side note to this- the Pharisees and Sadducees did not get along because of their beliefbut were able to find common ground in their disdain of Jesus- Isn’t that interesting?
• Its not enough to make a full point of a sermon- but its interesting nonetheless
• But here’s the big point- they were testing Jesus- they knew there was supposed to be messiah
• But they didn’t want to accept THIS messiah- they wanted THEIR messiah- (diff for P and S)
• Let me say this- the Bible is clear you are not to tempt/test/try God
• Deuteronomy 6:16 “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.
• Luke 4:12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord
your God.’ ”
• Here’s the problem with Testing-
• One- It denies the authority and supremacy of God- Its his show- he can do what he wants
• Two- it challenges his sovereignty- God has a plan and he is exacting it out
• Three- it shows paganism and lack of faith- it demands proof of belief (w/o faith impossible)
• Four- Its unscriptural and God says not to do it-
• Its common tho- the Bible had to correct it-
• Psalm 95:8-9 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the
wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.
• Hebrews 3:8-9 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the
wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.
• What does it mean to you
• Don’t test God- don’t put a litmus test on your belief and actions- be obedient because God
says to be obedient- just do what the scriptures say and believe what the Scriptures say.
• 1 Cor 10:9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by
• How do we test God? (when I was a kid walking home from school 1st grade)
• One- delayed obedience until we get a ‘sign’ (I’ll do it when THIS happens)
• Two- using signs as a decision on what we should do (I saw THIS so I MUST do this)
• Three- connecting things that aren’t connected to feign spirituality- (This is GOD)
• Four- assigning biblical value to something that biblically benign (God said to LOVE)
• Psalm 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.
• Don’t do it- if you want to test God- test him in the tithe
• Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,
• And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of
heaven And pour out for you such blessin That there will not be room enough to receive it.
- It’s a sign from God when you aren’t being a hypocrite
• 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky
is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’
• Here’s what’s happening here- Jesus is calling out the S&P for their feigned spirituality in
declaring weather systems as spiritual when everyone knows the outcome- (looks like flowers
this spring, sun is going up tomorrow, looks like its raining)
• Commentator said- and yet, instead of searching the Scriptures, and comparing the characters
of the times of the Messiah therein fixed, with the present ones, spent their time in making
such low and useless observations, and which fall within the compass of everyone’s knowledge
• They say they can’t see the signs- but they can-They can see and discern the simple colors of
the sky and make weather predictions (which everyone can do) but in the simplicity of
recognizing that Jesus is messiah- they pretend they don’t have enough evidence
• they are choosing to not see that Christ is messiah and worship him
• they are choosing ignorance instead of Just agreeing that Jesus is the messiah
• Now- we all know what willful ignorance looks like because we all did it as kids
• Pretending that because our parents didn’t give us specific instructions it was OK
• In Middle school- early release- ‘take the bus home’ I did- via downtown seattle
• Here’s some simple guidelines to stay out of hypocrisy in your life:
• Always assume you’re the problem- Matthew 7:5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your
own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
• Love all your Christian brethren 1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his
brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love
God whom he has not seen?
• Keep your tongue- James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle
his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
• Do your acts in secret- Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds
before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
• Don’t fake it Matthew 15:7-8 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These
people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far
• Don’t do what you judge others Romans 2:3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge
those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
• Here’s the big issue- we can talk about all of those but the BIG one that Jesus is talking about is
• people who feign intelligence- able to articulate all kinds of stuff- and then are dismissive
about the Lordship of Jesus- pretend that he isn’t who he says that he is-
• Whatever smarts you have in this life- you’re not smarter than knowing Jesus is Lord-
• You say- I can do this long extended math- and run huge corporations- I’m too smart to believe
in Jesus- no- you’re a hypocrite- you use your smarts for worldy stuff and then pretend you
don’t see the signs that Jesus is Lord because you don’t want to be held accountable to it.
• And that’s really what it is- it’s why people wont come to church, or get saved because they
know its real and they know what it will cost them and they don’t want to- hypocrites!
• Don’t be that way3. It’s a sign from God when it’s a Biblical Sign
• Jesus wanted them to recognize the signs of the times- that Jesus was messiah- that he was the
chosen one and he was messiah-
• The two signs we’re covering here are the signs that prove that Jesus is Lord that He’s already
performed and the S & P Demanding even MORE signs than that which he has already
• Jesus proved by his signs he was Lord- Luke 11:20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of
God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
• Others agreed that he was from God- John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to
Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs
that You do unless God is with him.”
• Signs were common place in the OT to validate a move of God- so they were used to signs- it
wasn’t a new thing- and the signs that Jesus did were prophesied about- so they should have
accepted them- but they didn’t.
• They should have saw and recognized the signs and believed
• John 12:37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him,
• What does it mean to you
• If you’re here this morning and you’re not a believer in Jesus- I want you to just accept the signs
that you’ve already seen that you have denied and admit that Jesus is Lord today- do it
• You’ve heard the stories, you know who Jesus is- respond to the signs- repent and believe!
• But to the believers- I want you to not deny that you can see some of the signs of the times that
are going on right now- Jesus said 2000 years ago that the signs were to point to his
messiahship- but they were also to point to his return- and we cannot deny those
• Do not pretend because he has delayed his coming he’s not returning quickly-
• 2 Peter 3:3-4 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to
their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell
asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
• I don’t know when- but Matt 24, mark 13, Luke 21- All when Jesus tells them that there are
going to be signs
• Luke 21:25-28 end times- Its crazy times that we are living in and even if we have accepted
Jesus as Lord- we don’t want to be hypocrites and not believe his return is imminent
• Matthew 24:36-44 READ- fig tree- no one knows- Just be ready at any moment!
• 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need
that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so
comes as a thief in the night.
• And that’s how Jesus is going to return- like a thief in the night- so repent now- and be ready
now4. Respond to the sign
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it
except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.
The sign of Jonah is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus
•This imagery of the sign of Jonah is Jesus alluding to the crucifixion and resurrection storyJesus is going to be crucified and buried in the ground for 3 days and then come back.
•In the same way that Jonah was swallowed by a whale-
•Jonah 1:17 Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
•The reason that Jonah was swallowed by the whale was because he was thrown overboard
from a boat- why? Because he was on a boat on its way to Tarshish. There was a storm because
Jonah was supposed to go to Ninevah and tell them to repent of their wickedness, but Jonah
ran from God- so God had him sit in the belly of a whale for a few days to get his heart right
•When he got out- he went to ninevah and told them to repent- and they DID
•And then here’s what God did in verse Jonah 3:10 Then God saw their works, that they turned
from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon
them, and He did not do it.
•The people repented- crisis was averted- and then the people were saved
•What does it mean to you
•Today as we sit here- this is a much different scenario than what was going on back then
•Jesus was speaking about something that was going to happen- we are speaking about
something that DID happen- Jesus DID raise from the grave Jesus DID die for YOUR sins
•Jesus did die and rise again- we know this- its true- Jesus asked people to believe in him
BEFORE he was crucified and rising from the dead- but NOW when he asks- he holds out his
crucified hands before you and says- Is this enough for you to believe? Is this enough for you
live for me?
•Before I was saved- I knew the stories- I knew all about it- but when I got saved was when I
decided to stop pretending it wasn’t true and that needed to live like it was true
•2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of
salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
•That’s a right now scripture- right now- you can receive it by faith, but it doesn’t take nearly as
much faith as it did back then on a ‘maybe’ this is true
• The true sign of Jesus messiahship was more than enough for the S & P. its more than enough
• Don’t be a hypocrite-you know He’s real- receive Jesus as Lord today-
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