April 4

Text: Matthew 12:38-41

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."  But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; . . .  The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (NASB)

We look at those who refuse to see the obvious and think, “Well, ‘duh.’”  However, we commonly fail to realize when WE fail to see the obvious.  People are distracted from the obvious too easily.

Though Jesus performed numerous miracles in the sight of numerous witnesses, the scribes and Pharisees of this occasion were not convinced.  They wanted just one more miracle that would convince them that Jesus was from God.

Jesus knew that there was nothing he could do that would transition their unbelief to belief.  They were looking for another reason to express doubt.   They were not on the brink of belief.  Jesus knew their motives—even if they deceived themselves!  Pretending concern was just that—a pretense!

Jesus compared himself to Jonah.  Jonah’s experience with the sea monster was a prediction of his resurrection.  Only his resurrection remained as a miracle to these questioners.  The people of Nineveh would condemn them in judgment for ignoring someone much greater than Jonah.

The greatest miracle to confirm Jesus’ identity was God’s resurrection of him from physical death.  The issue then and now is the same: who is Jesus?  Was he a good man, a man of incredible power, a man of compassion, a prophet from God, a special spokesman from God, or more than all these?  Jesus was far more than all that!  He was and is God’s son, the God-promised Christ, the fulfillment of God’s promises.

To see Jesus as less than the Son of God who is the Christ is to fail to grasp God’s purposes.

Suggestion for reflection: To you, who is Jesus?  (Read the book of Jonah—only 4 short chapters.)

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