In order to believe, they had to have a sign. They would not accept Who Jesus was until they saw a sign. They wanted physical evidence of a spiritual truth. Yet the Bible says we “walk by faith, and not by sight. These individuals were walking by sight. Where was their faith? They had none. They believed in the law, but they did not accept Jesus as the promised Messiah.
Deeper into the Passage
They ask Jesus what sign He will show them. They saw what Jesus did to the moneychangers and those who were selling animals. They wanted to know where Jesus got the authority to do such a thing. Who was He that He could clear the temple? Jesus speaks of His temple being destroyed, and in three days, it will be raised. Of course, Jesus was speaking of His body. Because they were spiritually blind, they thought He was speaking of the temple that they were worshiping. When this event took place, the disciples remembered what He had said.
Jesus had just finished entering the Temple area. He drove out the crooked moneychangers and livestock business. Because this was going on in the temple, there was no respect for the temple’s purpose. People could not properly worship the Living God because this raucous was going on. According to certain individuals, Jesus cut into a rather successful business. Jesus receives the response from the individuals who were affected by His action.
It was not as though the Jews did not know anything about the coming Messiah. They knew that the real Messiah would come doing great deeds and perform great signs. This was the reason they asked Jesus for a sign. It would prove to them that Jesus was that Messiah which was to come. Paul mentions this.
Matton’s Treasures says there are three words that are translated “sign.”
1. Teras=A marvelous or astonishing thing. It is never used alone to describe the works of God or Jesus.
2. Dunamis=Power; the power of growth or nature; the genius of men. It is an effective power, which accomplishes something. It is recognizable power.
3. Semeion=A sign. This was John’s favorite word. The miracle was not only astonishing or a deed of power, but it was a sign. It told something about the person who did it. It revealed the person’s character.
John recorded seven signs that effectively revealed the character or nature of Christ. He proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
John 2–Water into Wine…Jesus is the source of Life.
John 4–Healing of the Nobleman’s Son…Jesus is the Master over Distance.
John 5–Healing the Lame Man at the Pool…Jesus is the Master over Time.
John 6–Jesus Feeds 5,000…Jesus is the Bread of Life.
John 6–Jesus Walks on Water and Calms the Sea…Jesus is the Master over Nature.
John 11–Lazarus is Raised from the Dead…Jesus has Power over Death.