Matthew 12:38-50 – May 03, 2020
Jesus and the Sign of Jonah
11:34-37 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
12:38-40 Their desire to see a sign really expressed another way in which they hoped to reject Him. If Jesus did provide a sign, they would find some way to speak against it, thus finding a way to prove to themselves Jesus was who they thought He was, someone in league with Satan as they had said. Their words condemning themselves.
A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign: Jesus condemned their seeking after a sign, when countless signs had already happened before their eyes. Do not overestimate the power of miraculous signs to change the heart of doubters and skeptics. We see it ourselves in those around us. Romans 1:28-32 truly describes the Pharisees and teachers of the law for they were skeptics and their hearts were not about to change.
the sign of the prophet Jonah: Jonah was a prophet beyond his preaching to Nineveh; his life was a prophecy of the death and resurrection of Jesus of three days and three nights.
NOTE: Some think that Jesus had to spend at least 72 hours in the grave, but they neglect the knowledge of the use of this figure of speech for the time Jesus lived in where a day and a night make a whole day, and a portion of a whole day is reckoned as a whole day. Three days and three nights means simply three days and by Jewish reckoning would include three days in whole or in part.
12:41-42 They are asking for a sign but cannot see that Jesus is God’s sign! They were blind to this and could not recognize Him. Yet the Ninevites recognized God’s warning in Jonah and the Queen of Sheba recognized God’s wisdom in Solomon. Both Nineveh and the queen of the South repented even though compared to the person of Jesus, His miracles and His teachings they experienced much less than the Pharisees, the scribes, and the teachers of the law. Their outright complete and total rejection of the much greater evidence in Jesus was without defense.
Jesus’ claim here to be a much greater Son of David than Solomon was so incredible that you would expect that the Pharisees would explode in anger and rage, but instead they were stunned into silence for they knew the truth of what Jesus spoke as a result of His miracles that they were all aware of. And still they rejected Him.
12:43-45 When an impure spirit comes out of a person: Though talking about demon possession, the point Jesus was making here was not about demon possession, but the danger of rejecting Him as the religious leaders were doing and had done. Their rejection of and opposition to Jesus would leave literally leave them much worse off than before. That is how it will be with this wicked generation – especially embodied by the religious leaders who were rejecting Jesus, who would find their last final state worse than the first. Why? Because they were completely and totally without excuse. Paul stated this clearly in Romans 1 when he wrote: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. This is even more so, they have seen or are aware of the miracles of and by Jesus. They knew the scriptures, they saw the miracles of Jesus, they heard His teachings. They were without excuse. How about us? Are we without excuse?
12:46-47 Jesus had four brothers, half brothers, that are named in both Matthew and Mark. Both also mention He also had sisters, half sisters and of course Mary was His mother. This was His earthly family, not necessarily His eternal heavenly family.
12:48-49 Jesus in these verses is NOT rejecting His earthly family. Instead He is letting everyone know the importance and supremacy of an eternal spiritual relationship with Him. His own brothers, sisters, and mother needed Him as their saviour.
12:50 Doing the will of Jesus’ Father, God in Heaven, is the evidence of salvation by grace, NOT salvation by works. John the Baptist alluded to this when he said Produce fruit in keeping with repentance in Matthew 3:8. Fruit, good works, follow repentance and salvation.