38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 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. 41 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 something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here. 43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Once again it appears the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus, and are showing doubts that he is the Messiah. 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 proving to themselves that Jesus was who they already thought He was – an advocate of Satan (Matthew 12:24). If He doesn’t, then He has not proven he is the Messiah.
Jesus’ response is strong and very pointed. “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign”.
And so this draws me to wonder what today’s generation is like. Is it one that demands a miraculous sign before believing in Christ? I think not. I think today’s generation is even beyond this. . . .self sufficient and in many ways, unseeking.
But this morning, I do not wish to dwell on the state of this current generation, but rather what is God saying to me from this passage.
I reflect on the encouragement I receive when I see answered prayer, but also there have been times of discouragement when my prayer has not been answered in a way I would expect or desire. This discouragement in the past has made me doubt, not God’s existence, but His care and love, and His wisdom. There is a parallel of this attitude with the context of this passage. “Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe” (John20:29)
And so Father I pray that my eyes will not always look for that that can be seen, but trust in You with the unseen, and to always know you are a good, and faithful Father. Amen.
Written by Steve Fell