This continues the previous lesson from last week. Jesus pointed out that His coming as Messiah would polarize those under the Old Covenant and separate out those who would belong to the New Covenant. His Covenant would restore what all previous covenants should have done, but the new age He would usher in would not do away with the fallen context of human existence.
He reuses a parable from previous times teaching the crowds, about being able to predict the weather conditions. After many generations in that land, the people had learned that when clouds rose up in the western sky, over the Mediterranean Sea, it would rain later that day. If the wind was from the south where the Sinai was, it meant a hot dry day. You would think they had learned to recognize the weather like old friends and enemies by their faces, easily discerned at a great distance.
But this was pretending to be something they weren’t. They knew the weather patterns in that land, but didn’t recognize the hand of God when it was moving. That’s because they didn’t know Him well enough to discern His divine moral character. They certainly didn’t properly judge by His character their own lives. Wasn’t that more important than knowing the weather?
God was calling them to account before establishing the Messianic Kingdom. They were being sifted and judged by His revelation. Like someone being dragged before a judge in civil claims court, it was wise to get to know your adversary. Find out what would appease him before it goes to trial, or the penalty will be strict. Come to terms before it’s too late.
Jesus warned them that most of them were not ready to face the Messiah. They had no moral standing with God as their Father, but were adversaries who had flouted His Law. They had tried to trick Him and play games, but this was serious business. The Kingdom of Messiah would be founded on a heart of faith, and games would not get you past that standard.