Matthew 16:4 - Demanding a Sign.

Matthew 16:4 - Demanding a Sign.

Matthew 16:4 (NAB)  An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a 
sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Then he 
left them and went away.  

By using the sign of Jonah, who was inside a great fish for 
three days, Jesus was predicting his death and resurrection. [Life 
Application SB] 
Many people, like these Jewish leaders, say they want to see a 
miracle so that they can believe. But Jesus knew that miracles never 
convince the skeptical. Jesus had been healing, raising people from the 
dead, and feeding thousands, and still people wanted him to prove 
himself. Do you doubt Christ because you haven't seen a miracle? Do you 
expect God to prove himself to you personally before you believe? Jesus 
says, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" 
(John 20:29). We have all the miracles recorded in the Old and New 
Testaments, 2,000 years of church history, and the witness of thousands. 
With all this evidence, those who won't believe are either too proud 
or too stubborn. If you simply step forward in faith and believe, 
then you will begin to see the miracles that God can do with your 
life! [Life Application SB] 

  Asking God for a miracle may indicate a lack of faith. Some 
feel that they demonstrate great faith by continually asking God for 
miracles. They assume that in every situation God wants to do the 
spectacular. They presume, for example, that God wants to heal anyone who is 
sick or provide a miraculous escape from every difficulty they face. 
Jesus condemned those who insisted that He perform miracles, because 
He knew their hearts. He recognized that they could not believe Him 
without constantly undergirding their faith with signs. Their faith was 
not strong enough to survive without a regular supply of the 
miraculous. Jesus condemned this lack of faith and left them. 
  There are times when we prefer the miracle over the miracle 
worker. God calls this idolatry, and He discouraged it by refusing to 
provide miracles on demand (Je 2:11-13). Sometimes the greatest act of 
faith is not to ask for a miracle. One of the most amazing statements 
of faith in the Old Testament came from Shadrach, Meshach, and 
Abednego as they faced the fiery furnace because of their obedience to 
God. They expressed true faith when they assured king Nebuchadnezzar: 
"Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery 
furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let 
it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor 
will we worship the gold image which you have set up" (Da 3:17-18). 
They were confident in God's ability to deliver them, but they 
trusted Him so completely that they did not ask to be spared. 
  Does your faith need miracles to sustain it? Or do you trust 
God so totally that you can say, "But if not, I will still trust the 
Lord!"?  [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re 
Mat. 16:4] 

The Bible, God's word, not miracles, is the power that can 
change the heart and soul of man. [Pastor Arthur Gibbs]