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Monday, May 5, 2008

A Sign

Back in this post I introduced something I've been thinking about for some time now... whether it is "correct" to believe God because of "signs" or not. Should miraculous occurrences form an essential number of the threads that make up the cloth which is my faith? Jesus often seemed to make statements to the contrary:
Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation. -Mark 8:11-13
It seems like the temple authorities were fixated on demanding a sign from Jesus, but then He kept performing miracles and they still wouldn't believe in Him (see John 12:37-41 for an example and explanation from the Old Tesatment). However, verse 42 makes it clear that some of the temple authorities believed, and the regular people clearly had no trouble believing in Him because of the miracles. Jesus sometimes seemed annoyed with the idea that people would not believe in Him without miracles (notice verse 48), but in this passage we find Jesus saying:
If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. -John 10:37-38
It seems to me that we all, almost without exception, require some sort of sign in order to truly believe. Most people seem to at least have an emotional experience at the time when they accept Jesus as their Savior. I realize this is an internal "sign," but it is a sign nonetheless. And if Jesus performed miracles then, in part in order to demonstrate His Divinity, then what is to make us think that God would do less today? God never changes, and Jesus also said His Church would do "greater works" than the ones He did. (I won't even begin to speculate on what He meant by "greater works" in this post!) I just have to conclude that God does indeed intend for His children to allow Him to prove Himself today through miracles.

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