Throughout the years, Janet has always been able to tell me exactly what the weather will be – wherever we are in the world. In fact, she has become so used to knowing the weather that I really don’t even look at the forecast anymore – well, except this morning. I was casually looking at my phone and remarked that it was going to turn much cooler today. Janet, the self professed “weather wizard” let me know that I was incorrect. In fact, it wasn’t going to get chilly until tomorrow. Since I had actually just looked at the phone, I figured my information was more current so I gently pushed back and sure enough, Janet still insisted that she was correct.
Well, you know what? She was! It turned out that I had been looking at the wrong day on my phone and so, once again, the “weather wizard” kept her 40 year long streak going strong. I don’t even know why I still have the app on my phone. I should just dial home and listen to whatever Janet says. It is nothing short of remarkable – she is never wrong. And I don’t just mean when we are home. She can tell me what will happen in Dallas when I travel there; or how the temperature will be when we land in Honolulu, or the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, VW.
While at first her strange fascination with the weather may seem a little weird, I have become used to it throughout the years. And to be perfectly truthful about it, I never worry about traveling with her – we always pack appropriately because she already knows what will happen. As I reflect on this, it occurs to me that I have saved quite a bit of time not looking at weather reports. I can’t even tell you where the weather is listed in the local paper – or what channel I should watch to get the latest updates.
Throughout the centuries there have been many predictions about the weather. Probably the most famous one is: “Red in the morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night, sailors’ delight.” Did you learn that as a youngster? I thought of it this morning as I was watching the darkness turn to light. Right before the sun came up, the sky was a brilliant orange and pink – it was beautiful. Of course, that meant that we ran the chance of rain today – and sure enough, that is exactly what happened.
But did you know that the rhyme about the weather that I quoted above actually came from the Bible? Yep – that’s exactly where it came from. It was part of a larger lesson taught by Jesus in the book of Matthew. We are told, in Matthew 16:2-4, “He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.”
Jesus, in this lesson, lets us know that while we think we can predict the weather based on the appearance of the sky, some people have no idea about the deity of Jesus even though they had witnessed more important signs than the weather. Jesus had been proclaiming the kingdom of God and before Him, John the Baptist had been warning the people to repent. The entire ministry of Jesus had been to do the will of Father and to bring people into an eternal relationship with God.
This brings us to the last line of tonight’s verse – about the sign of Jonah… what’s that all about? Well, as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days – so Jesus would be in the earth for three days. And since something as remarkable as the story of Jonah actually happened, it should come as no shock that Jesus would rise on the third day as well. Since the people wouldn’t believe the Savior, Jesus was telling them that there wouldn’t be any other signs about what he would do – except the remembrance of Jonah.
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants you to believe His story – much more than Jesus cares about whether or not you can predict the weather. My prayer is that you will accept Christ’s invitation to enter into a deeper relationship with Him. Because no matter how close you are to God, there is always a way to get to know Him better. In the meantime, if you want to know the weather, just give us a call. Janet will be glad to help you out! Have a great day in the Lord grace and peace…