“The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation (Mark 8: 11-12).'”
When you read the whole story surrounding the quote from Mark above, you will notice that Jesus had just performed an amazing miracle! He fed four thousand people with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish. With the life-giving power of God, Jesus heals the sick, casts out demons by his command, and feeds the hungry! Ironically, it is the religious people, those who claim to be closest to God, that don’t see the power of God at work through Jesus!
The text seems to show the “religious know it alls” coming to Jesus with an attitude of opposition to Jesus. In other words, no matter what Jesus does, no matter how amazing and good his actions, they already have their mind made up that Jesus cannot be from God. Ironically again, it is the non-religious people, the common, uneducated, needy masses who flock to Jesus and marvel at his work, hanging on his every word. Those with an open heart to Jesus’ words and message, an open desire to see God do see God at work.
I have always loved a quotation from St. Anselm that is printed on a bookmark I own which reads, “Faith seeking understanding.” In Anselm’s time, scholars were beginning to presuppose that there was not God and therefore sought to study the Christian faith to debunk or disprove it. Their saying might have been “understanding then maybe faith.” But Anselm understood that the role of scholarship is to try to understand the things God has revealed of himself in Jesus Christ.
As you go through your day, assume by faith that God is already at work in your circumstances, at home, at work, in your neighborhood, or on the sports field. Look for God with faith and odds are high that you will find God working in those circumstances and working in you!