You see them everywhere. They’re on the side of the road, on the side of buildings and maybe even on the walls of your employer’s break-room. I’m talking about signs. Without a doubt, signs are helpful. They alert people about things that may be just up the road. They also provide directions or remind people to “clean up your mess” or “make a fresh pot of coffee when you empty the carafe.” Still, signs can cause people to be dependent. If someone gets lost, they sometimes blame it on the lack of a sign pointing them in the right direction. Other times, people may not believe something to be true unless they get a “sign.”
In the fourth chapter of John, Jesus travels to Cana of Galilee, the same place where He turned water into wine. A certain nobleman approaches Jesus to inform him about his ill son and to ask Jesus for healing. After hearing this, Jesus says, “Except ye see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (John 4:48). Now, many people could argue that Jesus is sort of testing the man’s faith. I suppose there are many people who do in fact make that argument, based in part on the nobleman’s response that his son will die unless Jesus comes to visit (John 4:49). In other words, the nobleman believes Jesus can save his son’s life.
Other people are not as believing as the nobleman. I for one have heard many people say something like, “If God is real, why doesn’t he just appear in the sky and let us know?” All things aside, I think it is a fair question. God would certainly settle things in a lot of people’s minds if He chose to say hello that way. However, God wants people to believe He is real. Look at John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Notice anything there? The person that believes in him (Jesus) should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Speaking of everlasting life, when the keeper of a prison woke up from an earthquake to find cell doors wide open, he contemplated suicide on the supposition that his prisoners had fled (Acts 16:26-27). Paul and Silas were prisoners in the jail at that time, and Paul reassures the jailor by saying, “Don’t worry, we’re all here.” It is at this point that the keeper of the prison comes to his senses and asks the men what he must do to be saved. The jailor knew there was something special about these two. It might have been the fact that they were singing in jail at midnight (Acts 16:25). Regardless, Paul does not direct the jailor to look for a sign. Instead, Paul tells him to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30).
Another example is found in John 20 when a resurrected Jesus tells a doubting Thomas to touch and see His wounds, Thomas follows instructions and confirms that it is really Jesus. If you keep reading, you will notice Jesus tells Thomas that he believed because he had seen, while adding that those who have believed without seeing are blessed (John 20:27-29). The same chapter ends by informing readers that, while Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, the account like this one involving Thomas were detailed so that readers might believe that Jesus is the Christ.
You want God to appear somewhere and let you know for certain that He is real? I cannot help you there. He is God and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). But I can be His sign, so to speak, and point you in the direction of where you can go for answers. Go to the Bible for answers. Read it, follow it and trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You will never get lost again.