The Pharisees asked for a sign. The multitude requested a sign. Even the disciples inquired of a sign concerning the Lord’s return. Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 16, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.”As Jesus hung on the cross bearing the sins of the world, the chief priests mockingly made a request among themselves for the ultimate sign that they said would cause them to “see and believe.”
The “Hall of Faith” chapter begins with these words in Hebrews 11, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees who requested He perform a sign from heaven, the only sign they were given was the Prophet Jonah who had spent three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, “so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” (Matthew 12:38-40; 16:1-4). The multitude seeking Jesus after the feeding of the 5,000 asked Jesus to show them a sign so “that we may see, and believe Thee,” (John 6). In the Olivet discourse Jesus revealed to His disciples evidentiary signs that would precede His Second Coming (Matthew 24).
Just as the Pharisees and Sadducees would not believe the sign of Jonah in relation to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, multitudes ceased following Jesus after the miracle of the loaves and fishes when He said, “I am the Bread of Life… ye also have seen Me, and believe not.” The chief priests murmured among themselves as they looked upon the Crucified One, saying, “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Seeing is not believing for their hearts were so hardened towards the Savior in demanding His death, if Jesus would have stepped off the cross their unbelief would have remained. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, as Jesus revealed to Doubting Thomas after His Resurrection, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,” (John 20:19-29).