The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.
This is a very unsettling image. This image of Jesus walking away from you because you do not want His help at all. When we set up our belief on a conditional system then we cannot be upset when the outcome backfire. "If you will do this for me God then I will believe in you." The "test" of the Pharisees did not seem that it was about personal transformation for the them or about a deeper awareness of the mystery of God. This was about seeing if Jesus would fit into their understanding of who God is. A different way to say that would be, "my God does this and acts this way and if he does not do this or that, then I will not believe in Him." Their God is in a tiny box in their life and Jesus tends to break all barriers and categories. That is why so many people try to label him differently. Some say he was just a prophet, others say a good person, some say he was revolutionary, or some say he was an angel! What makes him so difficult to categorize is that out understanding of what it means to be human and our understanding of who God is, is so limiting. Here is an example:
Jesus did this:
Raising the dead.
And Jesus did this:
Washing the feet of Peter
Jesus has the power over life and death. He can bring people back from the dead. He is a very, very,very, powerful man. He also washes the feet of his disciples; a task of the lowest servant. How can this exist in one man. So he would seem like a god because he raises the dead but what kind of God washes peoples's feet? These two concepts are in contradiction to each other for this reason:
People who are that powerful do not serve others.
Everything that the world teaches us is that people who have power very rarely ever serve. When we see it now in our culture such as politicians it is usually a political stunt for recognition, or something that happens on a special holiday. Most people who have power might serve by being on a board to help advise or make a huge donation of money, but nothing on the level of what Jesus did to Peter. He was the main that Peter left everything for to follow and here is that man doing the lowest possible task any human could do at that time. Here is another way to look at it: What did Jesus gain from doing this? What benefit could this have given Jesus? I still do not know.
With all that in mind, go back to the first picture of this post and imagine Jesus walking away from you. And all because you did not want to change your belief that God might be more than what you think.