Signs (Dictionary): A mark having a conventional meaning and used in place of words or to represent a complex notion; one of the 12 divisions of the zodiac; a display (as a lettered board or a configuration of neon tubing) used to identify or advertise a place of business or a product: a posted command, warning, or direction.
Signs (Bible): A wonder; sign; portent; certain proof: a fixed sign; a standard, ensign, signal, Jonah; circumcision; nod continually, beckon.

The first four disciples Jesus chose were fishermen. On one of their workdays they were all engaged in mending their nets… But Jesus came along and suddenly called them into new occupation- fishing for men!

Mark 1:16-20: 16 As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.20 Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away  to follow Him. (NASB)

Jesus must have seen the character of these fishermen. They must have made a decent living because they had hired servants (Mark 20) but left it all to heed Jesus call.

There are many kinds of signs and some are friendly but most carry a warning!  Jesus wasn’t speaking of a rod and reel when He spoke of fishing but rather spreading the gospel in an open and caring way.

Today there is still a huge and increasing number of “signs” standing in opposition to the gospel! Most are spiritual! Some are there because of misguided beliefs and some are motivated by hate. Those opposing the gospel have, in realty, erected their own spiritual signs. The above “No Fishing” sign really could easily be changed to: “POSITIVELY NO JESUS – KEEP OUT- FISHING FOR THE LOST NOT ALLOWED.” As it turned out Jesus also had a sign. It was on His cross for all to see! The sign said “INRI.”

John 19:19 records, “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” John 19:20 continues, “Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.” Today, many times when the cross of Jesus is displayed, the letters INRI are placed on a sign above Jesus’ head. In Latin, the text “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” would have been written, “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum.” Abbreviated, this phrase results in “INRI.” It is unlikely that the letters INRI were truly on the sign that Pilate placed over Jesus’ head, as John 19:20 specifically states. That sign was written in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.

The persecution of the Church of Jesus began with Jesus crucifixion and continues that way today. There are numerous statistics on the attacks against the Church of Jesus Christ in our time. In fact, Christianity is the most persecuted “religion”- by far. The countries that are most opposed to the gospel are Syria, India, Iran, Iraq, Packistan, Sudan,North Korea, Crimia,China,and Nigeria. It is estimated that 90,000 to 100,000 people were killed for their faith in Christ in 2016! This does not include those tortured or imprisoned.

Matthew 16:1-4 :  16 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed. (NKJV) 

The death and resurrection of Jesus is the greatest sign of all! And today the world keeps missing the truth of the gospel of grace and the sign of Jonah!

The Word of God is still the way,
No matter what men may say
His sign is fixed for all to see,
That sign points to eternity!

Father God we grieve and are sad as we think about those suffering because they are our brothers and sisters. Father God please come to their aid! We ask in Jesus name Amen.

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