We are in a climate today where many people are becoming more open to talk about
God and examine their need for Him. Many are seeking answers to life in this time and
are reaching out to those who believe in Jesus for counsel. As believers, we know that
God is always moving and will make good out of all situations. As we attempt to look
through the lens of the Kingdom, we may even get excited for what God will be doing in
the midst of the tough situation we are in.
However, there will always be many who will question God no matter the situation and
will demand that God prove himself in the ways that they want Him to. Matthew wrote in
his gospel that in the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the religious leaders came to Jesus
asking for a special sign to prove He really was the long-awaited Messiah. They were
not satisfied with all the miracles and acts He had done. But Jesus knew that evidence
was not the issue. We read in Matthew 12: 39-40.
…but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah
was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of
Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Using the reference to the story of Jonah, Jesus was drawing his listeners a picture that
would show them exactly what He came to do. Just as Jonah was delivered from certain
death, so would Jesus be delivered from the grips of death. Just as the fish could not
contain Jonah and coughed Him up, so the grave would not be able to contain Jesus.
Death’s claim on Jesus would have a maximum limit of three days.
But unlike Jonah who ran away originally from God’s mission for Him, Jesus willingly
came to accomplish His mission. And unlike Jonah, who languished in the belly of the
fish, powerless to save his own life; Jesus had the authority to lay His life down and the
authority to take it up again (John 10:18). Jesus gave us the sign of Jonah, the sign of
a miraculous, unstoppable life and of authority over death, so that we will believe, and
that by believing we will have life in his name (John 20:31).
Jesus has already provided the ultimate sign for everyone. His death and resurrection
have provided all we need and more. Through this sign of Jonah, we know that death
has been conquered and eternal life had been won for all who believe in Him. There is
no need for any more signs. As others reach out to us in this time, let us always be
mindful and recognize this as an opportunity to share this sign (gospel) with all who
seek for answers.
Prayer – Risen Jesus, I have seen the sign of Jonah in your death and in your
resurrected life. Thank you for giving me eyes to see the sign, and the faith to
believe that your resurrection life is but a preview of the life you are giving to me
as I place my faith in you. AMEN
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.