There have been a number of shows on TV recently which people find remarkable for they have to do with people’s ability to use their powers of observation. For example shows like The Mentalist, Lie to Me and Sherlock Holmes are all about the ability of the key players to observe certain signs and then deduce what has happened to the amazement of those around them.
The Power of Deduction
While it is passed off in these TV shows as something incredible, we use our powers of deduction and observation every day. How many times have you heard of someone meeting another person for the first time and within seconds they immediately size them up and either like or dislike them instantly? Perhaps you have done this yourself?
Well such “sizing up” is simply your in-built powers of deduction at work. You see minute clues about the other person without knowing it and make decisions and judgements almost at an unconscious level.
But then there are times when you have to put these powers to work and set your mind to looking at an issue. this is problem solving through investigation of the facts at hand. Researchers, scientists and doctors do this all of the time.
This is rather a long introduction to this piece of scripture, but it shows what Jesus was talking about. Here we see Jesus speaking to the people and calling them hypocrites. He said, “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Verse 56)
These people could see a storm coming and could read and interpret the signs of the weather, but could not interpret the signs of the times. They could see the clues in the patterns of the weather and make accurate predictions as to what would happen, when it would rain, if it would be hot and so on. But they could not interpret what was happening about them spiritually even while Jesus was standing in front of them performing miracles and preaching the truth of the Kingdom of God.
Basically it was so blatantly obvious that God was with man in the form of Jesus, and yet because he was not what they wanted or expected, they chose to ignore the signs, let alone the facts, that were right before them.
None so blind
There are none so blind as they who will not see. And this is the crux of the matter. The religious leaders of Jesus day refused to accept that he was the Messiah. They had been searching the prophecies in the Old Testament and they knew what all the signs were for the coming of the Messiah, and yet when he arrived in the form of Jesus, they rejected him.
The signs of the time were all around them and still they rejected him. Consider how foolish that is for a moment. They knew God would visit them, they knew that Jesus could only do what he did because he had come from God as Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, told Jesus as much. Yet they rejected him and worse, they put him to death. I guess they were hoping for a different Messiah, one that would fit their mould rather than the one they got.
The Message for Today
Today there are signs as well. The large proportion of the peoples of the earth do not see the signs or recognise their occurrence. God provided his people with signs as to the times of the end and we are seeing those signs occurring daily.
Without going into them in detail here, we know that there will be earthquakes, famines, wars and rumours of wars in the last days. These are all occurring now at a much greater rate and intensity than ever before.
We know the Bible says, “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves.” (Luke 21:25) And here we see tsunamis and people in fear at the devastation caused by this “raring of the sea and the waves.”
So what should we do about it? Listen to and watch the signs and know that the Lord is returning soon. Sure there will be plenty of people who will ignore these signs and say they are coincidence or whatever. But there are so many of these going on at the same time that coincidence should not even be considered. These things are the fulfilment of prophecy and are signs pointing to the time of the end.
Be prepared. Now is the day of salvation and now is the time to learn what is right and to seek the Lord. He is still waiting for his people to come to him and seek him out. But there will be a time when it will be too late. Don’t be caught out but watch the signs and know that he is getting near.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Roger Kirby)