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A Sign of Love
10/17/2017

But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:39-40 (NKJV)

I cannot possibly imagine standing before God expecting Him to prove who He is, as I tell Him, "I want to see a sign from You."  And yet we can see this very thing happen in the Book of Matthew, as the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus to perform a miracle for them.  Jesus tells them the only sign they would receive would be the sign of the prophet Jonah, who was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights.  Jesus then told them about how He would be in the belly of the earth for the same time frame.  And just as in the case of Jonah, He would come back.

It’s funny how these men who were so well versed in prophecy and biblical history, could not accept the simplicity of what Jesus preached to them.  Here they had the Christ—their prophesied messiah—in their midst, and they couldn’t handle the truth of His message of salvation.  As I read this, I am continually amazed at the foolishness of these men, and I am reminded of what Paul said.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

These men held fast to their own opinions and beliefs as their guiding light, rather than listening to the words of the Lord, so Jesus told them, The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it. (Matt. 12:41).

This is an interesting statement, because even though the men of Nineveh were wicked, they chose to repent of their sin, and as such they were forgiven and saved through the very messiah that these foolish people were denying.  What is fascinating to me about the Ninevites is they repented without God giving them any promise of mercy.  They did it purely with the hope of His mercy, but never having that promise or covenant from Him (Jonah 3).  We, on the other hand, have been given His promise of forgiveness, mercy and grace (John 3:16; 1 John 1:9). 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

I think the greatest sign we could have possibly received from Jesus, was His willingness to allow mankind to nail Him to the cross of Calvary, all so He could pay for the sins of the world.  He’s made the first step in loving us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). It’s almost as if Jesus were saying to each of us, “Here you go, this is how much I love you, and want to have a relationship with you…the choice is yours…Here’s your sign.”

STUDY QUESTION: According to Colossians 1:18 what is the message of the cross to those who are perishing? 

PERSONAL INVENTORY: How have you responded to His invitation? Have you accepted the free gift of salvation by confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (Rom. 10:9-10)? Have you chosen to make Him the Lord of your life (Luke 6:46), and made it your heart's desire to have a relationship with Him (Matt. 7:21-23), and surrendered to His will for your life?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Be faithful to confess your sins for what they are, and to repent (turn) from them.  God will be faithful to forgive you.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for making a covenant with me to have eternal life.  I acknowledge and accept Your free gift to me, and I thank You for Your unconditional love for me.  I want to honor You today in obeying what You have asked of me.  Help me to remember and apply everything I have learned from You.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000