Patience. Jesus owned the patent on patience…especially when it came to dealing with intentional stubbornness.
Mark 8:11-12 says,
“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.””
The Pharisees had already seen enough signs to believe if they wanted to do so! Nicodemus admitted this much in John 3:2. Now, signs would still be given to these Pharisees, and to the rest of the world, but sadly these signs were still going to “fail their test.” They were oblivious to the obvious fact that they were the ones failing the test by ignoring all that had been done by Jesus up to this point in time in exchange for what they thought should be done. They didn’t have the spirit of Gideon in the making of their request – they had the spirit of their forefathers who resisted God’s Spirit with stiff-necks and uncircumcised hearts and ears.
Jesus’ sigh alone should have been a sign to them. It would have been obvious through His words. He offered them more patience than they were willing to offer each other when it came to His works and wisdom (John 7:50-52). They had the scriptures to see what signs were being fulfilled; but unless they were willing to see the scriptures, there was no way the signs would convince them or make them see – even if one rose from the dead! (Luke 4:16-21, 16:31)
Sin can make our heart oblivious to the obvious. Sin darkens our eyes. Sin deafens our ears. Sin hardens our heart. Sin numbs all of our spiritual senses. It can leave us dead while we live (1 Timothy 5:6). And the remedy for sin? It’s Jesus – and it’s obvious, but some sure are oblivious because they are too busy asking for signs instead of following them.
May our eyes see clearly, may ears hear openly, may our hearts stay tender, may our intentions stay godly as we study God’s word and may we be patient with others as God is with us. It’s a challenge, but if we fail to do these things we may just become oblivious to the obvious things He wants us to see.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)