“Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”
– Matthew 16:4
The signs of the times are outlined for us in the Bible. When you know God’s word, you will gain discernment. You will be able to distinguish the true from the false, just as John the Baptist did in his time of discouragement. Wondering if his imprisonment was for the right cause and person, he sends to his cousin Jesus for an answer. Jesus replied by saying, “the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Jesus quoted out of the book of Isaiah, and because John knew the scriptures, He knew Messiah had come and was able to rejoice in his hour of need.
When the religious elite asked for a sign from heaven a fourth time, Jesus points out to them their folly. They were able to discern the weather patterns based upon observed evidence. However, they could not see that the Messiah was standing directly in front of them. As they looked to the heavens for weather patterns, they did so with an open heart to predict the kind of day it would be. When it came to Jesus, though, they came with a pre-conceived idea. They could not see it because they did not want to see it. If they did, they would have to conform and be obedient to the Lord. It was not evidence they lacked, they lacked honesty and humility.
When approaching the word of God, we must come with an open heart receiving its truth, come what may. Jesus’ cousin did not need a miraculous sign from the heavens as proof, He had Jesus’ word. When he was reminded of it, he trusted it, and we should, too, because “Jesus loves me this, I know, for the Bible tells me so.”