Matthew 12:38-41 – Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous 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. 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 one greater than Jonah is here. (NIV 1984)
My Musing – The religious leaders were looking for a sign that would prove to them that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Of course, Jesus had already provided numerous signs and miracles that did just that. The final sign, the sign of Jonah, was a foreshadowing of the three days that Jesus spent in the grave, culminating in His resurrection from the dead – the ultimate validation from the Father that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was accepted and that He was indeed the promised Savior. As we know, the religious leaders by and large rejected the resurrection and Jesus’ claim.
Today we live in an increasingly “wicked and adulterous generation” as well, and the “sign of the prophet Jonah” needs to be heeded more than ever before. Will our generation repent, or will “the men of Nineveh” “stand up at the judgment with” it and “condemn it” as well?
My Advice – Today, on palm Sunday, let’s proclaim “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” and celebrate the “sign of the prophet Jonah” this Easter season. Believe the prophecies. Believe the signs. For no other signs “will be given.”