The Sign of Jonah
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here (Matthew 12:38-41 NIV).”
Just like driving from TX to PA. You desperately want a sign. Your dog is sick of driving, your kid is asking, “Are we there yet?” Finally, we see the sign. Welcome to PA.
The Pharisees knew the Old Testament. In fact that is an understatement. They had it memorized. They knew the story and could unroll the scroll and find it. There were no chapters and verses.
They could quote much of it word for word conversationally. They could recognize when something was being told or taught incorrectly. What is fascinating is they couldn’t find anything wrong with Jesus. He claimed to be the Messiah and nothing as far as they could see disqualified Him from having that potential.
There were preference issues. There were feelings and thoughts about the Messiah being a great military leader, or whatever picture they had in their individual minds. They wanted Him to do what they told Him to do, and not fall under His authority.
They tried desperately to find something wrong. Jesus did many miracles. He opened up His life to His apostles. He walked the walk as He talked the talk. Yet, still they wanted a sign. There was only one more thing to do. He would die, be buried and raise again to life.
Jonah who was eaten by a great fish (or whale – since Johah’s main purpose wasn’t accuracy about fish or mammal). Jesus will mimic Jonah. He will lie in the heart of the earth for 3 days and raise to life. He will defeat death for the redemption of others just like Jonah did.
Only Jonah ended up in the fish out of disobedience and his racial feelings towards the Assyrians, our Jesus is perfect. His death was out of love for us all.
So, what is the only sign for non-believers, and opponents of the faith? What is the sign for the people surrounding your life? The sign of the resurrected life. The sign of Jonah. The sign of the One called Christ who is changing you day by day. Remember fellow believers, we were not asked to be God’s Attorney, Scientist or Expert Debater, but first and foremost we were called to testify to the one who has so changed our life and will continue to do so everyday. We are to testify to the resurrected Jesus living through us.
Is your life changed because of the witness of someone else? Feel free to share in the comments.
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