The Audacity in Asking for a Sign!
General Idea: In spite of all Jesus did to prove who He was, using miraculous, unfathomable healings, and words of incredible wisdom that baffled the most learned of men, they still asked for a sign. While Jesus continued to receive criticism from the pious, fraud Pharisees and Scribes who just did not get it, they still had the audacity to ask Him to prove it. They attacked Him, tried to falsely implicate Him of a crime, tried to trick Him and accused Him of being a demon, yet, they still had the impertinence to ask The God of Eternity and their only Hope for Salvation to prove it. Thus, Jesus turned the tables on their unrighteous deeds and placed a mirror in their face for them to see their own hypocrisy!
We are to have a life filled with purpose and distinction. If we have an empty life, we are no good to ourselves, to grow, to our neighbors, or to God. We can try to clean ourselves up and apply a purpose to our lives by our own Will, but if it is not from God, it is useless. It will just invite chaos and strife into our lives. When we have no purpose in life, we are hollow and empty. Our welcome mat says, Hey, Satan, come on in; the place is all ready for you! Let us be His family by our obedience, trust, and faith in His work, and seek His Will for our lives!
1. Sign. It was sheer audacity for them to ask for a sign in light of what they had already witnessed. Jesus is not a magician, nor does He do miracles on demand!
a. Sign of Jonah referred to our Lord's resurrection to come (Acts -36). Jonah was at the door of death, and God kept him alive with a miracle.
i. The Jewish leaders feared
ii. The result was that Nineveh became strong in the Lord as well as in power, and invaded the Northern Jewish Kingdom which fell apostate (Nahum 2:8; 3:1-7).
iii. Perhaps they should have used their energies to educate and preach God to the people rather than engaging in hate mongering toward Jonah.
c. Some Jewish leaders say God saved
d. Some scholars say Jesus was talking to pagans, who converted to Judaism, in front of the religious leaders to tick them off and show them their hypocrisy.
e. Even in the day of the Law, God saved pagans who turned to Him (Jonah -16; -11).
f. Three days and three nights. Days, in Hebrew terms, do not refer to complete 24 hour periods, but can be just a part of a day such as Friday, 10:00 p.m. to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. would be three days, as would Friday, 1:00 a.m. through Sunday, 11:00 p.m. (Jonah 2:1).
i. To say three days and three nights indicates three full day periods.
ii. In ancient Jewish culture, a person had to be dead at least three days before they were declared dead.
g. Queen of the South refers to
2. Casting out demons does no good unless the person repents, and seeks God's Will and not their own (Heb. 6:4-6). Jesus' point was that they were so wicked they kept inviting the demons back in!
a. The Holy Spirit is the only One who occupies the entire room of the soul so there is no room for demon possession (
b. Dry places refers to the desert where it was believed demons hung out. Remember, Jesus used images and words that the common people understood and could relate to.
c. Return to my house. If you are without Christ, Satan owns your soul!
d. Sevenfold was a saying indicating severity and intensity (Gen. 4:15; 24; Lev. 26:18).
e. Spiritual warfare is alive, real, and certain (2 Cor. ; Eph. -18)! If you ignore it, the "dark one" will come. We must stand ready with a defense, lest he take up residence in us! Jesus won the victory over Satan; when we are in Him, we have no need to fear. Satan needs your cooperation for him to come in you, and being a person who rejects Christ is his open invitation.
3. Family. Jesus had a real, earthly family.
a. Family was such a focus and central aspect of Jewish life, thus, respect for family and loyalty was essential.
b. To respect your family, especially the father, was expected. Not to do so was considered very repulsive. (Ex. 20:12; Duet. 5:16; Matt. 15:4; ; Eph. 6:2).
c. To call another person a part of your family was like adopting them in to your family, a very intimate and personal call that Jesus gives us.
i. When we say we are a Christian, but do not honor or obey Him even though it may not be required, what good are we?
ii. To disavow a family member would mean that a horrendous event of unspeakable means had occurred. Perhaps we are being reprehensible before our Lord in our disobedience!
d. Most Christians, especially Catholics, forget that Jesus had an earthly family too (Matt. ).
e. Mary is certainty the most blessed of women, but, obeying the Word of God is even more of a blessing!
20. What do you need to do to have a more reverent and fearful attitude toward God?
© 2003 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com