During Jesus’ earthly ministry, we read of thousands of people that followed him for various reasons. Some were desperate for healing, some wanted to hear his teachings, some were admirers, and some were critics and sceptics. Among his critics were the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious folks who felt he was leading the people astray because he didn’t submit to their religious traditions (Mark 7:6-8).

In Matthew 16:1-3, we are told of how they came to test Jesus by asking for a sign from heaven. Although Jesus had done many undeniable miracles with countless testimonies, they still doubted its genuineness from God. Apparently, the Pharisees believed that the devil could also do signs on earth, but only God could give them a sign from heaven.

The passage reads, “And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “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”. Matthew 16:1-3

In other words, Jesus was saying to the Pharisees and the Sadducees that they are better interpreters of the weather from the signs of the clouds than they are of the signs of the times. The signs of the times proved that God was at work in the nation through Jesus Christ, but they could not perceive the signs.

This is still true of many people in our world today, some people can predict the stock market and share prices by the signs and activities they see in the market, but they cannot see the signs of God’s kingdom at work in their communities. Others can see the signs of an emerging football star but cannot read the signs of the end times with an increase in immorality and a growing indifference to the things of God (etc.).

In 1 Chronicles 12:32, we are told that, “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command”.

Understanding the signs of the times in your life will enable you to make the right decisions and to make the most of a favourable season in your life. Understanding the times will also help you to discern the move of God and the right course of action in your life and in the church of Christ.

As people dress accordingly and make the most of outdoor leisure during summer, but stay indoors and dress warmly during winter, is the same way that the spiritual signs of the times and seasons should influence our actions.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” Ephesians 5:15-17

What signs are visible in your life in this season? Read the signs and make the most of the season.

Be encouraged.

Chris Eke