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Sign of Jesus’ Divinity


The Jews asked Jesus for a sign from heaven to prove his divine origin as the Messiah (Lk 11:16). Jesus had already shown signs of his divine power proving his messiahship.

At the request of John the Baptist, who was in prison, his disciples asked Jesus, “‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’ At that time he cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And he said to them in reply, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them’” (Lk 7:20-22). Thus, all the miracles of Jesus were proof that he was the Son of God. Driving out the evil spirit from the demoniac was one such signs. Still, some Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus show them another sign from heaven.

Jesus had already overcome tests from Satan after 40 days of fasting in the desert (Lk 4:1-13). He did not yield to any of Satan’s demands. The tests from the leaders were like Satan’s test. Their purpose was not out of a sincere desire to believe in Jesus. He did not comply with such requests for miracles to prove his divine identity.

When Pilate sent Jesus for a trial to Herod, he “had been hoping to see him perform some sign” (Lk 23:8). The opponents’ expectation was a sign like the Pillar of Cloud or the Fire of Elijah. However, Jesus refused to comply with their demand because he knew their negative intention. He wanted the people to get convinced by his teachings and the signs he performed to help people in need and other divine manifestations like walking on the water (Mt 14:22-33; Mk 6:45-52, Jn 6:16-21), transfiguration (Mt 17:1-8), and his resurrection.

The Pharisees and the Scribes asked a sign from Jesus several times (Mt 12:38-39; Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11; Lk 11:29). His answer was, “the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights” (Mt 12:39-40). After Jesus cleansed the Temple, the Jews asked him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” His answer was, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” “But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this” (Jn 2:18-22).

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