NOTE: In Matthew, Jesus is addressing the Jewish Religious leaders while in Luke, He addresses the crowd. The religious leaders have influenced the people, the nation as a whole is on the verge of rejecting Jesus.
Jesus said to the crowd, you can predict the weather by simply looking at the sky, reading the signs. All rain storms came from the Mediterrian which was to their west. When they saw clouds in the west, they knew it was going to rain. When they put their finger in the air and felt the wind blowing from the South, they knew a heat wave was on the way. They were very accurate in reading these natural signs but when it came to the “Signs of the Times,” they had no idea what was taking place. I like the way the NIrV puts it, “Why can’t you understand what is happening right now?”
This is a great question. In effect, Jesus was saying, “Do you people know what God is doing right here today, before your very eyes?” Peter knew, ten other disciples knew but the Jewish Religious leaders didn’t have a clue nor did the masses. Many believe that there were only 500 true followers until the day of Pentecost when thousands were converted. So we are talking about a tiny remnant of Jews who actually understood [in part] what God was doing in Christ. The rest didn’t have a clue.
The Jews had been waiting for the Messiah for hundreds of years, He comes and they don’t recognize Him which Jesus makes reference to in Chapter 13–And now, look, your house is abandoned [desolate, empty]. And you will never see Me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD. Do you understand what Jesus is implying? “I was here folks, standing right in front of you and you did not recognize who I am.” As John so aptly stated in his gospel:
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. I love the next verse –But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.
Jesus was amazed: these Jews could read the signs in the sky and predict the weather but they could not read the signs in scripture and recognize what God was doing in their very presence and time [generation].
This leads me to the personal question: Do you know what God is doing right now? Do you see God at work today? What is He doing in DBC today?
The Jews could look at the sky and see a storm coming but they could not look at Jesus and see God at work or His judgment coming. What an opportunity this generation of Jews had and they blew it. The Messiah that Adam and Eve longed for was among them and they did not see God in HIM, did not see God working through HIM. They heard Jesus teach, saw Him work miracle after miracle but yet did not see what God was doing in HIM. What a blessed priviledge they squandered.
The Jews as a whole did not see God working in Christ before the crucifixion, so let us fast forward to after the resurrection and see what has changed: [Acts 5:29-39]
Jesus saw their coming judgment, it was less than 40 years away. Rome would come with all its might and destroy everything. The Jews would be left with an empty house, nothing: Jesus saw it so clearly that He could describe it but they didn’t see it coming. Jesus begs them to repent in chapter 13 but they refuse to repent. They did not see the glorious gospel in Christ because they didn’t want to see. Jesus was light so light was not the problem. In their stubborn pride they refused to listen to what He said or understand what He was doing. He convicted them of their sins and they hated Him for it.
Jesus gives them one last warning in verses 57-59: