Signs – Should We Ask For Them

(Living Bible)


Mark 8:11-12    Why does this generation seek a sign?  None to be given.  (LB) Certainly not.  How many more miracles do you people need.

Matt 12:38-42    An evil generation seeks for a sign.  What does this mean?  When is it okay to ask for a miracle and when would God disapprove?  What were they doing here?  Asking for (physical) proof that Jesus was the Messiah even though He had performed countless miracles.  It was like saying “Force us to believe”.   But Jesus implies the message He preached and its meaning were much more important and needed no sign for its validity.  The Ninevites and the Queen of the South heeded the words of God from Jonah and Solomon with far less evidence than Jesus was giving His listeners.

Gen 9:12-17       God said the rainbow in the sky was a sign between Him and mankind of a covenant

Gen 17:9-11       Circumcision is a sign in our flesh of the OT covenant between Abraham and God

Gen 15:1, 8, 17-18  Abraham asked for a sign that his descendents would inherit land of Canaan

Ex 4:1, 30-31     Moses asked what if no one believed him.  And God gave him signs to perform as proof

Ex 7:3-5             God would harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply His signs and wonders in Egypt

Ex 13:20-22       God used a sign to lead His people for 40 years in the wilderness

                          Plagues of Egypt, parting of Red Sea, water out of a rock, bitter waters made sweet, manna every morning, quails, Moses face shining, thundering & lightning on Sinai, earth swallowing up Korah, parting of Jordan River, walls of Jericho fall down, Joshua’s long day. 

Did any of this help Israel believe in God?  Only a few for short periods of time!

Jud 6:17             Gideon asks for a sign that it really was God talking with him before destroying idol

Jud 6:36-40        Gideon needs two more signs with the fleece that God will help him defeat Midianites

1 Kings 13:1-5   A sign was given to evil king Jeroboam of Israel that destruction was coming to his kingdom

1 Kings 18:36-39  God gave a sign of fire consuming Elijah’s sacrifice to prove to people He was a real God

2 Kings 20:8-11  Hezekiah asks what the sign will be that he will be healed       

Isa 7:10-13        Ahaz refused to ask for a sign when told by a prophet to do so

Luke 1:18-20     Zacharias asked the angel how he would know God would do what the angel promised.

                          Zacharias was looking at the physical impossibilities, limiting God instead of faith in God.

                          Probably why God gave him such a harsh punishment for doubting, 9 months dumb.

Matt 24:3           Disciples asked what would be the sign of His second coming


Asking for a sign can be for two different reasons:

  1. Don’t really believe, lack of faith, and want physically proof
  2. Do believe in God and just want a signature on the contract
  3. A little bit of both

Satan can give signs to deceive people

Deut 13:1-5        If prophet gives a sign that comes true, but says lets worship other gods, he’s false prophet

Rev 13:11-15     Another beast has power to do miracles to cause people to worship the first beast


Matt 16:1-4        Ditto Matt 12:38-42

Why would we ask for signs?  Prove to others we obey?  Help us make a decision?  Encouragement?

John 3:1-2          Nicodemus admitted they knew He was a teacher from God because of the signs He did

John 4:46-50      (LB) Jesus asked; “Won’t any of you believe in me unless I do more and more miracles?”

In the O.T. God often gave signs to prove He was God.  But in the N.T. He expects us to understand that thru the power of His Holy Spirit and His Son.

Is it okay to ask for a miracle to prove to others that we are obedient to God?

Jews didn’t believe even when saw miracles.

Heb 1:1-3        God spoke thru the prophets in former times, but these days He has spoken to us thru Jesus

Rev 3:9              God will finally make other recognized we are His people – when we ourselves are Gods.