Orthodox psychology

Events as signs

1. In the days of the Saviour two disasters occurred that killed people and which Savior Himself explained to them as signs. Pilate had killed some Galileans, and “mixed the blood with their sacrifices.” When this fact was made known to Jesus, he said: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. “(Luke 13) That is: They were sinners, and therefore have suffered. But they were not worse sinners than all of you. This is for you a sign from God to repent quickly. If you will not understand and you will not receive the sign, so too will all perish.

2. The second evil had not come through hands, but through the collapse of the tower of Siloam. On that occasion perished eighteen people of Jerusalem. According to Christ, would be a mistake to believe that “they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem. I tell you, no! But unless you repent,  you too will all perish.”(Luke 13) So, again a sign to people. According to Theophylact of Ohrid, “They’re put to death for us to change ourselves, if we change, will on us an even greater tragedy.”

3. A sign similar for those free of law is the death of Herod. Uploaded evil, Herod, instead of humble his pride, more conceited with pride. And once, when he sat on the throne and the people began to speak great things, “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down,  and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:23) Here it is the sign of God for all haughty and unbelievers. Woe to you, haughty people who do not give God what is God’s all likewise perish unless you repent!

4. A sign was the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira, who have lied the apostle Peter. By this signal, the Most High wanted to remind young Christian Churches that they have to walk the path of pure truth. (Acts 5)

5. Sending the Apostles into the world for preaching, Christ said: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”(Mark 16:17-18) All this happened during church history until today, through the holy and righteous followers of Christ. And these signs – these signs – gave witness that the awaited Messiah really came into the world and other should not be expected.

6. When the Jews demanded a sign from heaven, the Lord gave answer: “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’  and in the morning: ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”(Matt. 16:2-3) This means that hardened sinners knew to guess the signs of nature, but signs of God – Christ’s miracles, did not know.

7. The Jews spoke against Christ that He banishes demons from people, apparently, with the help of  Beelzebul, the prince of demons. When he answered properly, the Lord said: “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matt. 12:28) And because the Lord banish demons with the spirit of God, His works have served as a strong indication that indeed the Kingdom of Heaven came to people.

8. All Christ’s miracles were signs that He came, so long predicted and expected, and that the kingdom of God came with Him and through Him. Christ relied on His miracles as on signs faithful enough to reveal messianic personality when John, in prison of Herod sent his disciples to him to ask him: “Are you the one who is to come,  or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and say to John what you hear and see:  The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”(Matt. 11:5)

9. And animals can serve as a sign to man. When the rooster crowed, Peter wept. The rooster song was a sign of his sin. And a donkey served as a sign for Balaam, who had started to speak against God, the One, the True One.

10. Star of the East was a sign that a new king was born.

11. We often meet in a lucky hour a man who, even unwittingly,  chases away the clouds from our soul, solving a problem of our intimate. We often hear in society a useful word, we often suddenly utter a word that is useful to those who listen us. Or we received a letter from someone, just when we needed. Or, trapped in the fabric of life, desperate meditate with our small mind how to unravel all these, until, suddenly, something happens and solves our impasse. So, the meeting, and the word, and letter, and chance – all are signs of punishment, or a sign to become wiser, or a sign of encouragement, or  an exhortation to repentance.

(St. Nikolai Velimirovic – Symbols and signs)






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