Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

by Kevin Lippert

Cross for Lent 2012
Genesis 50:15-26
Psalm 119
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Mark 8:11-26

I don’t know if people rolled their eyes in ancient Palestine, but you can almost see Jesus rolling his as he “sighed deeply in his spirit” when the Pharisees, the House Republicans of their day, demand a sign from heaven to test him right after he fed 4,000 people with only seven loaves of bread. “C’mon, really?!” you can imagine saying in his place, “What more do you need?”

If the earthly Jesus expressed the kind of exasperation you or I might with doubters and naysayers, the divine Jesus does not seem reluctant to offer sign after sign, at least to my latent inner Pharisee. Whereas Jesus the man might’ve said, “Seriously? I’ve given you a beautiful and loving family, including a brand-new baby, health in the face of a deadly disease, dozens of friends, material comfort beyond your needs, a beautiful place to worship, and countless other blessings in your daily life and those of the people you care and pray for. And you want more signs?” But the Lord Christ does not seem at all perturbed to heap one sign on top of the other, to add blessings and miracles small and large in what seems an almost embarrassing stream of gifts, good fortune, and benedictions, a potent reminder that God provides for us as he did for the four thousand followers in the desert, in everything from the most spectacular wonders to our simple “daily bread” of life. And all that appears to be required in return is a bit of faith and some prayer.