"...What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" [John 2:18]

The Greatest signs are in the heart

Bright Thursday 2013



"... What sign showest Thou to us, seeing that Thou doest these things?

"[1] [John 2:18]




an Orthodox girl receiving communion , https://www.orthodox.net//photos/communion-girl.jpg This question the Jewish leaders  asked Jesus after he routed the money changers out of the temple. It is  a stupid question. They shouldn't be asking "what sign", instead they should be asking for forgiveness! The Lord had showed them a very personal sign, much like He would later do to the people of the Gergesenes[2]. Their greed blinded  them  to the blessing the Lord gave them; He exposed their sin and gave them an opportunity to repent.  This was the sign!


Sins blind us to the signs the Lord is continually  showing us. We also look  for external  signs,  but the truest and most reliable signs are those that the Lord reveals to the heart. The rulers of Jesus' day truly are the fulfillment of the prophesy (an ongoing one, continually being fulfilled): "And with the elect man wilt Thou be elect, and with the perverse wilt Thou be perverse."[3] The Lord appeared to them to be a questionable person because or their personal perverseness - their pride, avarice and ambition. such sins, and all the rest of the vast panoply of human perverseness blinds us to the signs that God desires to reveal to the human heart.


If a myrrh streaming icon comes to the church, people who have not darkened the church door for a year or more will stream to it, with tears and supplications, and even be in a kind of ecstasy. After the icon travels to another place, they will go on to the rest of their mundane lives, missing the signs that God would give to them every Liturgy in the Eucharist, if they would bother to prepare themselves with expectation.


The greatest miracle and sign in our daily lives is the Eucharist, and it is of course, powerful because of the greatest external sign, the sign of Jonah[4]. This is all we need, if we are living real Christian lives.


Only a pure heart can see such signs. How many signs did we miss today?


Priest Seraphim Holland 2013     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas


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[1] Our parish is being encouraged to read the Gospel of John during the Pentecostarion period. If we read 1/2 chapter a day plus the remainder (about 2 chapters) the day before Ascension, we will finish in forty days. On Bright Wednesday, the suggested reading is John 1:1-12, & Bright Thursday the rest of Chapter 2


This small essay is a prayerful meditation on some part of the "assigned" reading. REMEMBER - read the scripture to apply it to yourself. This is all important. There may be parts you do not understand, but there will always be something that touches your heart if you read it prayerfully.


If you have comments about this verse or another in this selection (John 2:1-12), please add them in the comments, or email them to me.


[2] In the region of the Gergesenes, the Lord expelled the demons form the two demoniacs and allowed them to go into a herd of swine (an animal considered unclean by  the Jews), and they all rushed down a cliff into the sea and were drowned. Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39

[3] Psalm  17:26, Septuagint, Boston Psalter. I also love the way the KJV renders it, with that marvelous word "froward" - "With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward."

[4] The sign of Jonas is the resurrection: " Mat 12:38-40  Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.  (39)  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  (40)  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."