Loving Lord, I open my heart afresh to you and pray you will fill me with power and poise today.
Read MATTHEW 12:38–50
The Sign of Jonah
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.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever asked God to show you what to do? How did he show you? Did he give you a sign, or make it clear in some other way?
This ‘wicked generation’ (v 45) asked Jesus for a ‘sign’, but this had nothing to do with a genuine hunger for revelation. He responded that they had already had signs: Jonah and Solomon. Yet, they did hear revelation that day, and got more than they had expected: Jesus is a greater prophet than Jonah (v 40), and a wiser king than Solomon (vs 41,42). Here is a strong hint of what was to come for Jesus (v 40). Would they repent like the Ninevites?
The people of each generation must make a choice about responding to God’s revelation – and accepting Jesus. If they don’t choose him, they won’t receive the Holy Spirit, so they’ll be vulnerable to all kinds of spiritual chaos (vs 43–45).
At this point in Jesus’ teaching, the arrival of his mother and brothers could have been a distraction (vs 46,47). But he uses the interruption to make an important point. His family is not just his mother and siblings. It’s everyone who chooses to pursue the ‘will of my Father in heaven’ (v 50).
What might you do so that your generation – this generation – is not lost to wickedness? Could you be a spiritual parent or sibling to a young person on the fringe of your church or wider community?
Dear Lord, I need this timely reminder. Devotion to the kingdom of God comes before everything else in life, I must seek your kingdom! It’s my heart’s desire and I need your strength.
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