People are crowding to hear Jesus speak, and as they do so, Jesus realizes that some of them are asking for a “sign.” Jesus has certainly done many miracles and taught in many miraculous ways that point to his identity—so to ask for a “sign” now is tantamount to rejecting Jesus. It’s a psychological way of hiding from yourself the truth that whatever signs Jesus did you wouldn’t want to hear from. People do the same sort of thing today. Some will say that if only God did such-and-such, then they would believe. But God has given us all the evidence we need to believe in him right now. We have the evidence of creation all around us. We have the evidence of conscience constantly with us. We have the evidence of Christ, revealed in the Bible, preached by his servants, present by His Spirit. There is no excuse to not believe.
So it is in this sense that an “evil generation” asks for a sign. They are trying to avoid believing. Note how important it is that we make the most of the light given to us. We have so much access to the Bible today. So many resources regarding Biblical teaching. Our knowledge should be far superior to the Great Puritans and Reformers. But is it? Let us make the most of the witness to God that we have all around us through his Word, translated into our language, preached from our pulpits.
No sign will be given except the sign of Jonah. The sign of Jonah is his miraculous descent to the great fish for three days and the vomiting back out again. Similarly, Jesus will die and rise again three days later.
Now, the comparison, and Jesus’ far greater presence than Jonah, and far greater miracle than that done to Jonah means that, again, we must be careful how we hear. The queen of the south will rise and judge this generation. She came to hear Solomon. But now one greater than Solomon is here. How much should they be believing! The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. Now one much greater than Jonah is here.
We have such extraordinary privileges today—apps for Bible study, preaching on the radio, and on and on it goes. Let us make sure that those who came before us who had far less than we do not look askance at how little progress we made in our relationship with God, how poorly we used the time and gifts allotted to us.
Yes, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. We should shine the light that God has given us boldly and lovingly and clearly. Not hide away. For where we stare, what we look at, what fills our eyes will by normal process of imagination end up filling our hearts and minds (11:34). So be careful where we given our attention. And instead think of how wonderful it would be if you focused so purely on Christ, your whole mind and soul and body would be wholly bright!
Make the most of what we have been given.
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