The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away. (Matthew 16:1–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – The Bible is full of Messianic prophecies. Mathematician Peter Stoner counted the probability of one person fulfilling even a small number of them. And he concluded, the chance of a single man fulfilling “just” 48 of the prophecies found in the Tanakh (Old Testament) would be 1 in 10×157! In other words, that is 1 followed by 157 zeros! Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) fulfilled not just the 48 specifically Messianic prophecies. In fact, He fulfilled more than 324 individual prophecies that related to the Messiah! The first calculation was amazing enough for me. So, the probability of one man fulfilling 324 prophecies must be a number beyond comprehension for anyone! (How Many Prophecies Did Jesus Fulfill?, By Jonathan Bernis).
It wasn’t that the Jewish people were unaware of these prophecies. They knew them very well. They had been waiting for the Messiah for centuries. Roman occupation only accentuated their longings and expectations. Yet when He came, most missed the signs. Even the most spectacular sign, the sign of Jonah. The problem? While against all the odds the realization aligned with every single sign, it did not align with their expectations. They had eyes but failed to see, and ears but failed to hear. As multitudes today still fail (refuse) to see and hear. The truth of the Gospel just doesn’t align with their aspirations.
That was His first coming. Recent events have many speculating about the prophecies surrounding His second coming. Are we reading them correctly? Or will we misinterpret them or miss them altogether because they do not align with what they expect or wish? But their will be signs. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:32–33, NIV 1984). To learn more about the signs, read by blog series “Revelation – Signs of the Times.”
My Advice – Now learn this lesson from the cranberries: As soon as the aroma appears, you know that Thanksgiving is near. Even so, when you see all the trimmings set out on the table, you know the turkey is right behind, ready to be carved. Are you watching for the signs of His coming? When you smell the “cranberries” the wedding feast of the Lamb cannot be far off.