Have you ever thought that if you could do a miracle, then your non-Christian friends would believe?
If that is what it would take, then God would do it.
The religious leaders asked Jesus for a miraculous sign, but He told them, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:39–40 NLT).
At the same time Jesus refused a sign, He promised a sign. He refused the sign they wanted, which would have had no effect on them. But He promised the only sign that could truly impact and change them.
Jesus was telling them, “Someone greater than Jonah is here. And I’m offering forgiveness.”
While Jonah came preaching God’s judgment, Jesus came preaching God’s mercy and grace. Jonah was disobedient, but Jesus was obedient. Jonah preached to one city, but Jesus came for the entire world.
Then Jesus continued, “The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen” (verse 42 NLT).
The queen of Sheba was not Jewish, but she came to Jerusalem seeking the wisdom of the great King Solomon. She made a grueling 1,200-mile journey to hear what he had to say, because she desperately wanted to hear truth.
In essence Jesus was saying, “You should know better than to ask for a sign. You should know what is true and what is right.”
We can’t help but draw a parallel to our own nation. We should know better. Our country was built on biblical precepts. The first book in our public school system was the Bible. Our laws were based on biblical principles. But today we can’t even post the Ten Commandments in a classroom.
As we see anarchy in the streets and violence spreading across our society, people are crying out for a return to family values.
But we need more than family values; we need the morality those values are based on. And then we need the spirituality that morality is based on. We can’t have morality without spirituality, because who determines what is moral and immoral? We must have a set of standards, and we find them in the pages of Scripture.
Jesus was saying to the religious leaders, “So you want a sign? Here it is. I’m going to die on the cross and rise from the dead. That is your sign.”
The sign our unbelieving friends and family need to know about is that Jesus died on the cross for them and rose from the dead. This is what we need to proclaim. It’s the greatest sign of all.
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