Signs (Matthew12:38-39)

Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

Jesus came to towns and villages all through Israel, Samaria and disparate  points in the  Gentile areas of the Decopolis, Tyre and Sidon. That such places had the opportunity to ask Him their questions is a profound honor. To be sure, it is not an honor given to every town. It is not a privilege extended to every religious leader. 

What would you ask if you knew that someone had just come to your town – someone who could do all things? Someone for whom nothing seemed to be impossible. Someone who had raised the dead. Someone who had said profound things. Someone who could heal the incurable and solve the impossible. Would you want to be healed? Would you want clarification on a point of theology? Would you want to be instructed in some better way of living, some better way to glorify God and live right in His sight? Would you want to know some deep thing about the past, or some insight into the future?  The questions that come to mind are many, and none of them are trifle. 

But in one place that did not happen. In this particular town, the leaders showed up and asked Him something different. “Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”  

It’s so ludicrous it’s almost hard to believe. The leaders of one Jewish town came to Jesus and instead of asking God in the flesh to answer a profound question, they asked Him to entertain them. Worse, they asked it because they didn’t believe or trust Jesus. They wanted “evidence” that would be entertaining to watch. They wanted “evidence” that could be fodder for judgment – so they could gather and debate as to the sufficiency of the evidence. But Jesus knows that that their judgment is already rendered. That they “need more evidence” is evidence itself that they have chosen not to believe. “He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!” 

Everyone knew that if someone proclaimed a prophesy and it did not come to pass, that ‘prophet’ was false. The Pharisees and teachers of the law also knew that Moses had given specific instruction about how to tell if someone who is able to do signs and wonders is from the Lord. Moses had written, “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.”

All that Jesus did, He did to honor God the Father. He did not do any miracle just for miracle’s sake. He did not perform any sign or wonder with a doubtful goal in mind. He is right to call the Pharisees wicked and adulterous. Their ask for yet another miracle does not demonstrate faith. It just reveals the corruption of their hearts.  

Unstaggering faith requires no crutch. God’s word is worthy of your trust

Charles Spurgeon


Has not God repeatedly shown Himself worthy of our trust? Let us worship in His presence by faith.