Jews Require Signs
John 2:18 “Then answered the Jews and
said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us,
seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
In verse eighteen we have: “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?”
It is all about signs for the Jew. They require a sign. After all it is God [in the person of Jesus Christ] who we are dealing with here. “He knew what was in man.” Jesus “needed not that any should testify of man.”
The Jews require signs.
[1 Corinthians 14:21] "In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord."
In Isaiah 28 in verse 10-13 the prophet points to a future event.
He is speaking to Israel, and he is speaking to them of precepts and of lines. "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little." In the course of God's dealing with Israel, he had determined that he would someday "speak to this people" with "another tongue." "For with stammering lips and another tongue will I speak to this people. To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
[1 Corinthians 14:21] is the fulfillment of the prophecy given to Isaiah hundreds of years before.
God's word is TRUE.
"For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." [2 Peter 1:21] [1 Corinthians 1:22] "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom."
To those that have named the name of Jesus Christ, [Christians] who have trusted Him for their salvation "to be revealed in the last time" [1 Peter 1:5]; that is, in that period of time from Pentecost to the coming translation of the saints [which is the church], they are "a spiritual house, an holy priesthood" 1 Peter 1:5].
Twentieth Century Spiritual Declension
The last century has been a time of spiritual declension. This has been a time of the clouding over of the eyes. No longer can we understand the basic differences between the Jew and Gentiles (the Greek). "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom."
When you get right down to it, there are two groups of people on this earth. "THE BOOK" shows that.
Some would have us think that the categorizing of people by gender (male and female), or by the color of skin, is more distinctive and of more importance than the differences between the Jew and the Gentile. This false view comes as a result of spending more time (the leavening process) reading the newspaper or watching the television than reading their Bibles. In contrast, it does not take too long for a Bible believer reading God's word and meditating on its precepts to find the truths and joys therein.
"I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts." [Psalm 119:14, 15]
This will result in the believer being "filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 4:18) Remember this important statement of fact by God through His apostle Paul. It will help you understand "HIS BOOK" by "rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
Please, get this down! The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. Check it out. Every Jew has this thing built into his very nature.
The first "Jew" was a Gentile until he was called out of his country [or nation]. [Genesis 12:1,2].
"Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."
Abram became Abraham by the covenant established by God. [Genesis 17:4, 5] “The token" of this covenant was visibly made known to Abraham by the "circumcision of the flesh of his foreskin." "This token" [TOKEN] is shown [comparing scripture with scripture] to be "a sign." In Romans chapter four, verse eleven, Abraham received the sign of circumcision. "And he received the sign of circumcision a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe."
The Jew requires a sign in order to believe. Look at Exodus 4:30 and see how signs needed to be performed by Moses "in the sight of all the people" so that they would believe that the Lord was visiting His people and intending to bring a great deliverance and salvation from their 400 year bondage to the Egyptians. [Acts 7:36] "He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years."
God used visible signs that were great and wonderful to convince Israel to sing a song of His mightiness. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake,saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and the rider hath he thrown into the sea." [Exodus 15:1-2]
Israel experienced "signs and wonders" from God by his direct intervention in their affairs down through time. Remember the walls of Jericho and how they came down? This represented to them a mighty sign of God going before them and delivering their enemy into their hands.
Consider this, how God gave Israel the seventh day [along with the special Sabbaths] as a sign of His being the Lord God "that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you" [Exodus 31:13].
This truth that the Jew requires a sign reached such proportions even in the very face of the presence of the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, with the unbelieving Pharisees [Jews] that God refused to give the very signs they demanded before they would believe in His Son (that He was the prophesied Savior of Israel).
Matthew 12:38 "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas." Now, focus on this: "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" [Hebrews 2:4].
To sum up, the signs and wonders that were performed by Jesus Christ (and His apostles) when He came to this earth almost two thousand years ago were to be a signal to Israel of who He was, and having rejected Him, to judge them. It would be by occasion of their unbelief that the Gentiles were to be grafted in to partake "of the root and fatness of the olive tree." [Romans 11:17b]
Israel's rejection of these signs was prophesied centuries earlier in the most exacting precision. "(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day." [Romans 11:8].
"Salvation is come unto the Gentiles" [Romans 11:11].
This is where the term "MYSTERY" shows up. It is a New Testament truth unknown to the Jew in his setting of national Israel.
They tripped up over this thing of God signifying a change in his dealing with man; with a beginning of a new dispensation. "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what the riches of his glory of his mystery among the Gentiles; Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory," [Colossians 1:26, 27]. [See also Ephesians 1:9, 10].
The change in the dispensation reveals that God can modify His dealings with man without regard to man, at His own discretion, "according to His good pleasure."
Note Ephesians 5:32, and see how God revealed the "great mystery concerning Christ and the Church."
God used signs and wonders in the confirmation and the revelation to the Jew of "the mystery of the Gospel" [Ephesians 6:19] whereby if they, the Jews, are to be saved, that they must see that: "Neither is there salvation in any other: For there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Brethren, now we are ready to begin to read "The Acts Of The Apostles" in chapter two. Come on, now! Read it and believe it, and take note of something. Not one person involved from Acts chapter one, verse one right up to Acts chapter ten is a Gentile (of the nations). Cornelius was the first Gentile to be saved [Acts 10]. Those that heard Peter on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:9-11] were "Jews and proselytes" and the Ethiopian eunuch was a proselyte to the Jewish religion. Everyone is a Jew (or Samaritan) up till that point.
Everything prophesied in Mark 16:15-18 was fulfilled in the book of Acts. Everyone Jesus Christ was speaking to in Mark 16:15-18, were Jews ("afterward he appeared unto the eleven"). Everyone at the feast of Pentecost was a Jew. The Jews require a sign. They witnessed "many wonders and signs." [Acts 2:43] "And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles."
Verse nineteen is the answer to the Jews! “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” All they [the Jews] had to do was believe it. This, by the way, is all we [the Gentiles] have to do today … is to believe. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]
This is the Gospel in a nutshell in the age of grace.
Friend, have you been saved by the blood of the Lamb of God?
Are you born again?