SCRIPTURE: Matthew 12:38-42
The Sign of Jonah
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. 41 The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! 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 listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
Stacy Simpson Duke points out that, “Jesus did not take a pastoral tone with the Pharisees, but called them an evil and adulterous generation (v. 39). The implication was that their stance was not one of openness, even if they were to receive what they were asking for, but of hard-hearted argumentativeness. Matthew does not intend for us to sympathize with the Pharisees, but we can relate to their question. We might wish to see a sign too. Who of us has not wanted more evidence about Jesus?”
The Gospel writers definitely are not fans of the Pharisees (with good reason), but Duke does raise a good question. If we found ourselves in Jesus’ presence today after the shock and awe wore off (if it ever did), might we want to see one of Jesus’ amazing miracles? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see Jesus feed 5,000 with just a few loaves and fishes? Or bring a loved one back to life, like Lazarus? I admit that there would be some desire to see such feats in my own heart. And I don’t have that desire to carry some additional proof of who Jesus was, but rather think it would be a beautiful sight to be witness to one of Jesus’ miracles, one full of God’s love and grace.
Which miracle of Jesus do you wish you could have been witness to from Scripture? What miracles do you feel that you have already been witness to because of God’s love and grace?
God of miracles, we are still amazed today at the beautiful miracles performed by Jesus during his time on earth. From feeding so many to giving back life, the works Jesus performed showed not only his divinity and heavenly authority and power but also his compassion and love. Help us to see the continued works of Jesus through his love and grace, given to save the world. Amen.