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Summary: Jesus tells the Pharisees that the only sign that they will be given is the sign of Jonah.

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MUB

2-6-05

MATT 12;38-41

38Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."

39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For 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. 41The 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 one£ greater than Jonah is here.

A LITTLE BOY WENT TO SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. WHEN HE GOT HOME, HIS MOTHER ASKED HIM WHAT HE LEARNED. HE BEGAN TO TELL HER THE STORY OF THE ISRAELITES CROSSING THE RED SEA. IT WENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS; THE EGYPTIANS WERE CHASING THE ISRAELITES , AND MOSES CALLED FOR AIR SUPPORT, AND PLANES CAME ZOOMING IN, DROPPING BOMBS AND SHOOTING, AND THEN THE TANKS STARTED FIRING, AND THEN THE BRIDGE BUILDERS STARTED WORKING REALLY FAST, AND THEY MADE A BRIDGE ACROSS THE RED SEA. HIS MOTHER, STOPPED HIM, AND SAID, SON, THATS NOT REALLY HOW THAT STORY WENT WAS IT? THE LITTLE BOY SAID, NO MOM, BUT IF I TOLD YOU WHAT THEY ME, YOU WOULDNT BELIEVE THAT EITHER.

A NOT WELL EDUCATED CHRISTIAN MAN, WENT TO VISIT A COLLEGE AND HEAR A WELL KNOWN ATHEIST SPEAK. THE ATHEIST WAS SPEAKING ABOUT THE CROSSING OF THE RED SEA. THE CHRISTIAN SAID, PRAISE GOD FOR THE MIRACLES. THE ATHEIST SAID, SIR, THE WATER IN THE RED SEA WAS ONLY SIX INCHES DEEP AT THAT TIME. THE CHRISTIAN SAID, ONCE AGAIN, PRAISE GOD FOR THE MIRACLES. SIR, DIDNT YOU HEAR ME, THE WATER WAS ONLY 6 INCHES DEEP. THE CHRISTIAN SAID, YES,. PRAISE GOD FOR THE MIRACLES, HE DROWNED ALL THOSE EGYPTIANS IN JUST 6 INCHES OF WATER.

SOME PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH THE MIRACLES RECORDED IN SCRIPTURE.

THEY GO AGAINST SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE, IN OUR DAY AND AGE OF TECHNOLOGY, THEY DON’T MAKE SENSE. AND YET, THE WORD OF GOD, HAS THE RECORD FOR US. WE WANT TO TALK TODAY, ABOUT THOSE WHO SEEK AFTER SIGNS.

ALMOST EVERYONE ENJOYS WATCHING MAGIC ACTS. YEARS AGO, IT WAS HOUDINI, ESCAPING FROM ALL KINDS OF THINGS. RECENTLY, WE HAVE SEEN MAGICIANS MAKE JUMBO JETS DISAPPEAR, SAW PEOPLE IN HALF, YOU NAME IT, AND SOME MAGICIAN HAS TRIED IT. PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, BUT HERE IS THE PROBLEM; IF I SHOW YOU A SIMPLE TRICK, YOU WILL SAY, THATS GOOD, NOW SHOW ME SOMETHING BIGGER AND BETTER. THIS WILL GO ON AND ON. SOMEONE ALWAYS HAS TO TOP THE LAST GREAT TRICK. WE WATCH THIS FOR THE SAKE OF ENTERTAINMENT, WE OOH AND AHH. PEOPLE WATCHED JESUS PERFORM MIRACLES, AND THEY SAID, THATS GOOD, NOW DO ONE BETTER. IT WOULD BE LIKE, OK, YOU HEALED THAT MAN, BUT MOSES CROSSED THE RED SEA. PROVE YOUR GREATNESS.

IN THIS ENCOUNTER, THE PHARISEES APPROACH JESUS AND ORDER HIM TO SHOW US A SIGN. THIS IS NOT A REQUEST, THIS IS A DO IT NOW. THEIR TONE OF VOICE IS A COMMAND. "WE WANT TO SEE A MIRACULOUS SIGN FROM YOU."

THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL, THERE HAD ALWAYS BEEN SIGNS, MIRACLES. GOD OFTEN INTERVENED ON THEIR BEHALF. YOU DON’T HAVE TO THINK VERY HARD TO REMEMBER SOME OF THE MIRACLES. IN THE PERIOD OF CAPTIVITY TO EGYPT, GOD USES PLAGUES AS MIRACLES TO CAUSE THE RELEASE OF ISRAEL. HE USES THE PASSOVER TO SPARE THEIR LIVES, THEN HE USES THE CROSSING OF THE RED SEA, MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE.

THE ISRAELITES EXPECTED GOD TO PERFORM MIRACLES, AND NOW, THEY STAND BEFORE JESUS, AND THEY DEMAND A SIGN. DO US A TRICK, PROVE YOU ARE A PROPHET, PROVE THAT YOU ARE THE PROMISED MESSIAH. IN MUCH THE SAME WAY AS SATAN TEMPTED JESUS IN THE WILDERNESS, THEY QUESTION HIS AUTHORITY.

INSTEAD OF DOING AS THEY ASK, AND HE EASILY COULD HAVE DONE ANY SIGN, HE KNOWS THEY WOULD NOT BE SATISFIED, NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES, SO INSTEAD HE REBUKES THEM.

"A WICKED AND ADULTEROUS GENERATION SEEKETH AFTER A SIGN’.

THEIR ATTITUDE WAS TOTALLY WRONG. THEY DIDNT SEEK A SIGN B/C THEY GENUINELY NEEDED ONE. IT WASNT LIKE THEY NEEDED TO CROSS THE RED SEA, OR EVEN HAD A PHYSICAL NEED, THEY WANTED A SIGN FOR PURELY SELFISH REASONS. SHOW US A TRICK, PROVE THAT YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD.

JESUS CAN SEE THEIR HEART, AND SO HE ADDS TO THIS REBUKE. " THE ONLY SIGN YOU WILL BE GIVEN IS THE SIGN OF THE PROPHET JONAH." JONAH WAS IN THE BELLY OF THE HUGE FISH, SO WILL THE SON OF MAN (JESUS) BE IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH FOR 3 DAYS AND NITES.

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