He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain—and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot—and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?Luke 12:54-56
Signpost after signpost pointed to Jesus as the Messianic Son of David and shepherd king foretold by Moses. John the Baptist declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”1 Jesus’ extraordinary wisdom and prophetic knowledge, unexpected from the son of Joseph the carpenter, nearly got him thrown over a cliff.2 Followed by twelve disciples, the party of the “bridegroom” healed the sick, cast out demons, and proclaimed the good news.3 Like the legendary Elijah, Jesus summoned the dead back to life.4 Cleansed lepers reentered society.5 “Tax collectors and sinners” were healed and forgiven.6 Five thousand feasted on five loaves and two fish, leaving a surplus of twelve baskets of fragments.7 Parable after parable awakened minds to the reality of the kingdom of God.
The life and actions of Jesus of Nazareth left little room to doubt his heavenly origin. Yet he was rejected.
Clouds in the sky were more easily comprehended than the signs and wonders, prophecies and teachings of Jesus.
Blessed Theophylact (c. 1050/60-1108), a Greek Father of the Church, entered into the heart of Christ and wrote this reflection:
For I am a cloud, and I come out of the west, that is, from human nature; which has been long since clothed with the thick darkness of sin. I came also to send fire, that is, to stir up heat. For I am the strong south wind, opposed to the northern coldness.
May the Lord grant us a discerning heart and mind to read the signs of the times.
1 John 1:29.
2 Luke 4:29.
3 Luke 5:34; 9:1-6.
4 Luke 7:11-17; 8:49-56.
5 Luke 5:12-16; 7:22.
6 Luke 5:27-32.
7 Luke 9:10-17.