“And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16:3)
Jesus spoke these words when the Pharisees and Sadducees tried to test Him. When there are signals indicating toward a certain event, some are prompt to draw the conclusion. In fact, they pride in themselves if they were the first ones to have done it. We know the line – “I told you so!” The Pharisees and Sadducees too were such people, but when it came to understanding Jesus as Savior and the Son of God they displayed the very old stubbornness. They hated Him and where hate exists acceptance is annulled. They asked Him to show a sign from heaven as if there weren’t any signs earlier regarding Him and from Him.
So, when Jesus asked them about discerning the signs of times, He was referring to the acts that happened since the time He entered the womb of Virgin Mary – His birth, the magi’s visit, Herod’s wickedness, the prophecy spoken to Herod regarding Him, John the Baptist and his confession and the list goes on along with the signs He did (His signs attested what God by the prophets said will take place through the Messiah). These were enough to show that He is from God and enough for them to know that He did not need to prove Himself again. If they saw through their stubbornness, they would have seen Him as the sign from heaven. They would have seen that time as a sign to believe, accept, glorify Him as the Son of God and be saved.
On a similar note, we too will do well if we do the same. Meaning, when we take our petition to Christ and have obtained His favor, we should consider the things He does for its fulfillment that we do not lose faith and test Him. By counting all the little things, the provisions, signs and the counsel He gives as we pray, trust and wait on Him, we truly understand the signs of times. We can know that which He said will take place.