Monday, 14 August 2023
But Jesus replied, "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. -Matthew 12:39 [NLT]
The real test of Christianity always remains at how the truth of Christ Crucified is accepted and acknowledged. This is the context of certain well-known passages in the Bible:
“Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed His powerful arm?” (Isaiah 53:1 NLT)
“It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.” (1Cor.1:22 NLT)
As the world is full of fake signs and wonders, there is one which still stands out in its credibility— the triumphant victory of Jesus Christ over Sin, Satan and Death. The Resurrection proves to the fallen mankind that they need no more signs or wonders to believe in a loving God who sent His own Son to die on our behalf. This message with its simplicity and depth of truth has never been conquered by any forces, human or evil. All those who tried to suppress it has gone down in history as nobodies but the message of the Cross still stands.
Jesus was confronted by the leaders of the Jewish community who were steeped in external adherence of the Law. They insisted on following the ordinances literally and left out the heart of the matter. Here in this chapter it is about Sabbath and issues related to it. But later they wanted to trick Jesus by asking Him to show signs from heaven so that they could believe. Even though Jesus had done many works which showed clearly who He was, but due to their hard hearts they could not perceive the truth. In this context also, they were not genuine and Jesus knowing this gave them the answer clearly that they will not be given any direct answer instead they will be given the sign same as the Assyrian people of Nineveh had during the time of Jonah.
In our life, many a time we ask God for signs, and turn a blind eye towards the truth that delivers us from eternal death. We are so carnal and hence we always go out in search for the earthly not the eternal.
Jonah turned out to be a clear sign for the Assyrians. He was in the belly of a fish for 3 days and 3 nights. In other words he was a prototype of Christ in His burial and resurrection after 3 days. Assyrians – a heathen community was alarmed by the message sent by God and spoken by a prophet who was in the belly of fish for 3 days and 3 nights. They all repented and turned towards God. Here we have one greater than Jonah. Jesus was literally dead and buried and came back to life after 3 days. But this message with this wonder of wonders is yet neglected by many. God is not going to show anymore proofs for humanity. So let us open our eyes, ears and hearts to hear what God wants to say to us through the resurrected Christ. This was the only message preached by the early Apostles throughout the then-known world. But we see today people flocking after many other things other than the message of the cross. Let us humble ourselves to get the maximum out of this truth and be transformed by it so that we will testify this truth to this dying world as the early Apostles did.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, let my eyes be open to know this sign given by You, so that I will carry this great testimony to the ends of the earth.