“When the Religious Leaders heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.”
This confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees has always fascinated me. It is bracketed by two extraordinary miracles. Right before it, Jesus had fed four thousand people with seven small loaves of bread and a few small fish. Right after the confrontation, Jesus healed a blind man, giving him his sight back.
The Religious Leaders had either seen or had heard about both of these miracles, yet they were not satisfied. They wanted to see a bigger, greater sign than what Jesus had performed so far. The Pharisees were to leave disappointed. Jesus never performed miracles in response to a challenge. He performed miracles out of compassion and love.
He fed the four thousand people because they were hungry. They had been with him for three days, listening to His teaching. Jesus knew that they had run out of food and worked a miracle to meet their physical needs.
Jesus healed the blind man out of compassion. His friends had brought him to Jesus in hopes that Jesus would, “touch him” and bless him. He did better than that. Jesus touched him with the power of God and restored his sight.
Are you in need of a miracle? Jesus will not be coerced into performing a sign, but He will respond to faith. Faith connects us with Jesus’ compassion, His love, and His power.