Jn 6:2 A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. [1]

The paparazzi of Galilee…Jesus’ fan club, his hanger-ons, his groupies. “We have found Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth….Come and see.” [Jn 1:45-46]

Jesus was extremely savvy in the ways of men. First, get their attention by the signs he was performing on the sick…then you can talk to them, then, maybe they’ll listen, then maybe they will put 2+2 together and realize that He is the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets. [Jn 1:45]

John calls miracles signs…signs of the new life, signs of the breaking through of the Kingdom of God, signs that point to Jesus as the Messiah, the one who was to come, signs that God cares, signs that here was someone who was much more than a man, much more than a teacher, much more than just another Rabbi. Here was a Signer who wrote His Name in their very lives, the Signer of Hearts, the Signer of Souls.

Belief in these types of signs were to have been a way of faith, of understanding, of acceptance, of following. But the crowds have to get beyond the sign…A little while and he will feed them all and they will have seem to have made it: When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” [Jn 6:14]…but He knows they drew the wrong conclusion and act inappropriately: Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. [Jn 6:15]

The next day, when they get in the boats and follow him, He calls their bluff: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” [Jn 6:26] A very complicated relationship…He’s teaching them a lesson and they haven’t yet got it right.

Do I get it right, Lord? Do I see the signs? Do I read the signs correctly? Do I follow the signs? Lord knows [literally], You try. You keep peppering my life with one sign after another. A beautiful morning, a rainy morning, an insight here, an understanding there, a success here, a failure there, the resurrection here, the cross there…You certainly try to get my attention.

Granted, You don’t use the passé neon signs, You don’t send up fireworks [though your lightening certainly does get our attention], You don’t send personal emails, text me, put a notice on Facebook, advertise on websites, hold press conferences, organize protests and rallies…or do you? Have you given us neon, fireworks, email, texting, Facebook, advertising, websites, news coverage, protests and rallies to get our attention and we still ignore You?

Have You shown us the devastation that we have reeked on nature through the landslides, the flooding, the tornados, the hurricanes and typhoons, the eruptions and the glacial melting, global warming…all this to get our attention and cooperation in freeing Your creation from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. [Rom 8:21] Do You try to get our attention to the desperation and suffering of our fellow man and woman, our brothers and sisters all over the world when You show us the results of sin…the killing of innocents[2], the martyrdom of infidels, the annihilation of tyrants or the execution of rebels, the crumbling of capitalists or the collapse of communists…and no one talks to the other in the sounds of silence.

Help us, Lord, to see Your signs, Your beacons, Your emergency flares, Your 911 calls for help. We are so inured by the constant barrage of information, we loose sight of Your forest, Your world, Your Kingdom. Help us filter out Your truth from the spin-doctor’s carefully constructed contaminated content. Help us to look for You because we see the signs and follow You because You are indeed the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world, and through whom, and no other, both us and our sin-marred universe can be saved. Come, Lord, Jesus, come!!!

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

[2] Have we ever considered that by labeling civilians, women and children “innocents,” we condemn ourselves as guilty, guilty of fratricide, of taking lives simply to force our will, our politics, our way of life, ironically our “freedom” on our “enemy.” If we really examined this mirror closely, we, like Pogo, would be horrified to realize that we, indeed, “have met the enemy and he is us.”

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