“Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” Mark 8:11-12

There are literally hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament describing the messiah and what he would do. Conservative scholars would put the number at more than three hundred with others going as high as five hundred.

That’s a huge number of specific events and characteristics that have to be fulfilled. By comparison the beast power of Revelation 13 only has eight or ten characteristics. Yet these comparatively few identifiers are enough for historians and scholars to confidently ascribe the fulfillment to a single historical power.

But the person of the messiah is of such importance that mere confidence is not enough. Supreme confidence in a correct identification is desired. So God, in the centuries preceding Christ’s birth, sent us thirty to fifty times the number of prophecies to identify the messiah as he did to identify the antichrist.

Is it any wonder this Jesus refused to give the scribes and pharisees any additional signs? They didn’t need any more signs. What they needed was to ask questions, of Christ and those that were witnesses to his birth and life and then compare the answers they received to scripture. If that wasn’t enough to convince them then they needed to simply be quiet and watch as additional events either continued to confirm or debunked the assertion that Jesus was the Messiah.

So what was driving their request for additional signs? The same thing that so often drives illogical and unreasonable demands. Impatience combined with laziness. They wanted their questions answered right away and they didn’t want to do the work required to get the answers for themselves from the resources already given.

Do you have questions you want God to answer? Chances are that if you have truly important questions a satisfactory answer’s already been provided. The question that remains is: Are you patient and diligent enough to find the answer God’s already provided in his word?

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