August 7, 2021

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

August 7, 2021


Psalm 85:8-13

Matthew 16:1-4


Today’s reading shows us an unlikely collaboration between the conservative Pharisees and the liberal Sadducees united in their attempt to discredit Jesus by asking for a sign from heaven. They weren’t interested in a sign to help them discover and follow God’s will. Rather, they wanted to challenge Jesus to attempt to produce a sign from heaven like the mighty shower of fire we read about yesterday in our daily Bible reading.

Jesus refused to indulge their faithless request. He told them that the only sign given would be the “sign of Jonah” — which refers to Jonah’s three days and nights in the belly of the great fish. It was a symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection. So Jesus is saying to them, “You’ll get a sign — but it will be a sign that requires faith to recognize — not something showy like fire from heaven.”

Sometimes we want a sign — just like the Pharisees and the Sadducees did. We find it easier to trust God if there’s tangible evidence that God is working in our lives. Jesus encourages us in this passage to look to his death and resurrection and trust that the God that can raise Jesus from the dead is also able to care for us.


  • Have you ever asked God for a sign when you wanted reassurance that you were on the right path, or that a decision you were about to make was the right decision?
  • When have you had to trust God when there was no heavenly sign? How did that influence your faith?


  • Today’s Bible reading talks about looking at the sunrise and sunset in order to predict the weather. For the next few days, pay attention to the clouds and the color of the sky and see if the saying “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight/red sky in the morning, sailor’s take warning” is accurate.
  • Discuss ways God takes care of us every day through giving us sunshine and rain and all the other things we need to live.


Gracious God, sometimes we want a sign — just like the Pharisees and the Sadducees did. Help us to trust your promises and grace even in the absence of “signs from heaven.” Amen.