Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 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. (Matthew 12:38-40)
Given the context, the Pharisees’ request was almost laughable. After all, Jesus had been healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and driving out demons – all under the Pharisees’ noses. So what additional sign Jesus might give to convince them is anybody’s guess. As one commentator pointed out, “But here is where the fence-sitters reside, refusing to commit to him.”
Yet if we’re honest, it’s not just the fence-sitters who want God to show Himself over and over again. Those who follow Christ still wish for signs to know that He’s present and cares for our situations. But even while chastising the Pharisees, we see Christ’s grace. It’s evident by the small word, “except.” As He replied, Jesus said they’d receive no other indication of His deity EXCEPT the sign of Jonah. In addition to what they had already seen, Jesus pointed them to His upcoming death and resurrection. And friends, that’s where He would point us today as well!
Faith isn’t faith because we see Him act or sense His presence 24/7. Faith is looking to the cross and subsequent resurrection and believing it happened. Christ gave the Pharisees that sign and He points us back to it as well.
Wanting God to prove Himself by way of a miraculous sign? He already has – so think back to His resurrection whenever doubt creeps in! –Dave
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