What’s The Sign? Matt. 12:38-42 HCSB Feb. 21, 2016
Jesus tells us in this text the story of Jonah. It is a sign of the resurrection for as Jonah was in the belly of
the fish for three days and three nights so shall the Son of man be in the earth three days and three nights. So before it happened Jesus told it to the scribes and Pharisees. Why do you think He did that? Because they were sign seekers and Jesus wanted them as well as His disciples to know the fact of His future resurrection.
1. What’s The Sign? . . Satisfaction Sought by the Weak. 12:38
A. Satisfaction Sought by the Weak . . Caused by Their Disbelief. v 38a
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him,. . .”
B. Satisfaction Sought by the Weak . . Curious because of Their Disbelief. v 38b
“. . . "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
Why do some people seek signs? It is most often because of disbelief or a very shallow belief.
When the spoken or written word of the Lord is not enough for the people they seek signs. Confirmation is needed for doubters or unbelievers but the spoken or written word of the Lord should be enough to build our faith. The miracles of Jesus certainly stunned those of unbelief but it is amazing to me how many just cast them aside as some kind of magic. The miracles of Jesus were planned by Him to persuade unbelievers and some who were weak in belief. The most mature believers did not need the signs for their faith.
2. What’s The Sign? The . . Specifics of the Jonah Story. 12:39-40
A. The Specifics of the Sign of Jonah . . Given Years Earlier. v 39
39 But He answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to
it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
B. The Specifics of the sign of Jonah . . Grounded Years Earlier. v 40
40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
The experience of Jonah was given centuries earlier. Jesus said the sign of Jonah in the belly of the whale would be the only sign they would receive. Jonah’s example of being in the belly of the whale and then coming out on dry ground would be the sign to illustrate His resurrection from the tomb. It would be a sign of the resurrection before it took place. Some still questioned the fact of His resurrection until they saw for themselves
and touched His hands and side. I call Thomas the Missouri Disciple because he was a show me disciple. Jesus used the story of Jonah and expected people to believe it as He illustrated the resurrection. Many of the scribes and Pharisees still did not believe so what real value is a sign?
3. What’s The Sign? Someone Greater than Jonah. 12:41-42
A. The Someone Greater Than Jonah . . Spoke to these Sign Seekers. v 41
41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they
repented at Jonah's proclamation; and look—something greater than Jonah is here!
B. The Someone Greater Than Solomon . . Spoke to the Queen of the South. v 42
42 The queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she
came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and look—something greater than
Solomon is here! HCSB
The people who saw and heard Jesus saw a great sign in the fact of His life. Why did they need more than all the specifics of His life? The men of Nineveh saw and heard Jonah but Jesus said something greater than Jonah was there in front of them. Likewise the Queen of the south will rise up against those who did not believe who Jesus was or what he proclaimed. Jesus said an evil and adulterous generation seeks after signs and that is certainly not how we should want to be known. We live in that kind of time, but we should desire to be known for our faith in the life and actions of Jesus. We should not be going around wanting to know What’s The Sign? Amen? Amen!