May 15

Text: Matthew 16:1

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Him asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. (NASB)

Once I audited a class on Revelation taught by a scholar I much admire for numerous reasons.  The class was designed to accommodate people who were not enrolled students.

The material in Revelation is known for “encouraging speculation.”  A man of limited background in biblical research took the class.  He respectfully made his view of Revelation open and well known. 

Though the teacher never attacked the view or belittled the man, in the days ahead he presented material from Revelation that challenged the view.  At the end of the course, the man said, “I have heard nothing that does not fully support my view.”  Inwardly, I shook my head as I wondered if he and I were in the same class and heard the same material.

All of us tend to cling to views as we disregard trustworthy material.  It is difficult to investigate any idea that conflicts an inviolate view tenaciously held.  It is one thing to have faith.  It is quite another to substitute prejudice for faith.  Prejudice has a “blind” agenda.  Faith is devotion based on reasons.  Motives often distinguish between prejudice and faith.

The Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus wanting to see a miracle.  They wanted Jesus to prove to their satisfaction that God sent him.  Impossible!  The lame walked, the blind saw, the dead were raised, and the diseased were healed.  Yet, these men saw nothing!  They did not want to recognize Jesus’ identity!  They already “knew” he was an imposter!  They just looked for proof to confirm their conclusion!

Suggestion for reflection: Does ungodliness have an agenda in you, or is your thinking open to righteousness?  (Read John 3:1, 2.)

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