Matthew 16:2b-4a – When it is evening, you say, "It will be fair weather; for the sky is red." And in the morning, "It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening." You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. (RSV)
My husband pointed out the two sundogs in the blustery sky. "Keep an eye out," he said. "Watch which one stays." We were delighted to see that the one to the north disappeared. This of course signalled warm weather to come! Here in southern Ontario, sundogs appear in pairs, generally during cold weather, one on either side of the sun. Practically unnoticeable, they are partial rainbows, quite pale in colour, refracted through ice crystals.
Isn't it interesting that Jesus spoke of the weather and what the folks around Him discerned from it? Even today, we still say things like:
- Red sky at night: sailors' delight;
Red sky in the morning: sailors take warning.
Jesus didn't stop His conversation after the weather comments. No, He told His listeners that they were missing the big picture. Jonah: three days in a big fish? The sign points to Jesus Christ, Son of God, Messiah, crucified, dead, buried, risen from the dead on the third day, bringing life where there was only death, returning again — this time "coming in clouds with great power and glory". (Mark 13:26 NIV)
Have we checked the sky lately?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we have been depending too much on our own interpretation of things, and ignoring the plainly visible truth You pointed out so long ago. You are coming again. Help us to be ready. Amen.