Give Me a Sign l Luke 11:27-36 l Chapel Hill Church Gig Harbor
Three weeks ago, the latest installment in the Legend of Zelda video game series was launched: Tears of the Kingdom. In 3 days, it sold 10 million copies, making it the fastest selling Nintendo game of all time. We’ve been playing it constantly in our house and it has been the source of much conversation with friends and colleagues at work.
One of my favorite moments from early in the game is with the man known is our house as “the sign guy.” Addison has been tasked with putting up signs all over the land of Hyrule—the fictional land in which the Legend of Zelda series is based. His signs are to support President Hudson, but unfortunately for Addison, and hilariously for us, he can’t even support his own signs. Your task is to use your newfound abilities to support his sign so that he can move on to put up more. And, his signs are everywhere! You don’t need to go more than about 2 minutes to find that inept Addison is already ahead of you, desperate trying support his President, yet being unable to support his own sign.
I wonder, have you ever asked God to give you a sign? Perhaps you were facing a big decision that you needed to make? Or maybe it was when you were still considering the Christian faith for yourself? Or perhaps you’re asking God for a sign right now—Lord, give me a sign? Well, some people came to Jesus and asked him for a sign. And this morning, we’re going to hear Jesus’ response to their request for a sign, and discover for ourselves that God has already given us the greatest sign that he could.
Welcome to Chapel Hill. My name is Ellis and I’m one of the pastors. We’re continuing our journey through Luke’s gospel—one of the four biblical accounts of the life of Jesus. Last week, in Luke chapter 11—feel free to grab a Bible and turn there now—we heard about some people who approached Jesus regarding two things. Here’s what we read: “The people marveled. But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,’ while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.” Luke 11:14b–16. First the people had an issue with Jesus’ power over evil, and Pastor Mark shared with us last week Jesus’ response to this, namely, that evil is real, Jesus is good, and Jesus is more powerful than all evil. But the second issue raised, the question of a sign from heaven, Jesus deals with in this week’s passage. And for that we’re going to read from verse 29 of Luke chapter 11. Here is Jesus’ response to the request for a sign:
“When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” Luke 11:29–32
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
A couple of years ago our dishwasher was struggling and after three attempted repairs I gave up and purchased a new one. I chose to install it myself because I had already taken apart the old one so many times, I figured it would be easy. The delivery guys dropped it off, took away the old one, and I set to work. The first thing I did was remove the foam packaging that had been put on it to prevent them from bashing up my house on the way in. The first couple of bits came off pretty easily, but then the next few pieces appeared to be glued on. Not to be deterred I began ripping it off and threw it in the corner with the rest.
As I got to the point of hooking up the dishwasher to the water supply, I discovered I needed an elbow joint and headed to Home Depot. As I was driving home, I had this sudden thought… what if that foam packaging wasn’t meant to be taken off? I had purchased an ultra-quiet dishwasher, and although my old dishwasher didn’t have any foam around it, it was louder than our neighbor’s diesel truck that used to drive past our house every morning at 6am. So, when I got home, I went over to the pile of foam packaging, and started examining it. What I found filled me with a sinking feeling in my gut. On the very first piece of foam, I ripped off was a giant sign saying: “Do not remove! Necessary insulation for sound reduction.”
The people came to Jesus asking for a sign, but Jesus’ response is simply to say, I’ve already given you a sign, can’t you see it?” And the implication is, that just like I did with that sign on that dishwasher packaging, the people have missed it. Jesus begins his response by saying—verse 29: “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign,…