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Summary: The sign of Jonah - (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

The Compliment (vs 27)

The Crowd (vs 29a)

The Conversation (vs 29b-32)

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• Photos of funny signs

• (Photos available on request – gcurley@gcurley.info)

Question: What is the purpose of a sign?

Answer: Twofold:

• A sign is to inform – to give information:

• i.e. instructions or warnings etc. – “Do not touch wet paint”.

• A sign often points to something else;

• i.e. on a motorway where you are travelling – “The Midlands 150 miles”.

Now in the verses we are looking at this morning;

• The crowd following Jesus are taken up with signs;

• And are not taken up with the one that these signs point to – that is Jesus.

• The crowd following Jesus just want the sign, they want the dramatic, the spectacular;

• They want to be regaled, amused, wowed and astonished!

• But Jesus refuses to give them a sign that will do that;

• In fact he says that only one sign will be given them – the sign of Jonah.

Note:

• Now to most people Jonah is an almost comic like figure of the Old Testament:

• He is the prophet who foolishly ran away from obeying God.

• He was the passenger who was thrown into the sea.

• He was the dinner the fish could not stomach,

• He was the hothead who gets cross with God over a withered plant.

• And He was the evangelist who was saddened when a revival took place!

Note:

• Jesus believed Jonah to be a real historical figure.

• And not just an allegorical character.

• And the Bible teaches Jonah to be a real historical figure.

• In fact he is first mentioned in the Bible book called 2 Kings chapter 14 verses 23-25.

• Where we learn that Jonah was a prophet of God;

• Who had been used by God on previous occasions to deliver his message.

• But one day he received surprising directions from God;

• That he did not like and he could not in his nationalistic pride & bigotry obey;

• And as you know from the last for weeks of Sunday Morning studies;

• Or from the book in the Bible called Jonah.

• He set into motion a series of events;

• That would make him one of the most famous characters of the Bible.

• But Jesus said to this crowd of people;

• That Jonah still speaks today, even though he is dead;

• Jonah is a symbol, a picture, a sign for people then & now to learn from!

Let’s look at these verses under three headings:

(1). The Compliment (vs 27):

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Ill:

• The brilliant physician and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,

• And his brother John represent two radically different views on the subject of flattery.

• Dr. Holmes loved to collect compliments,

• And when he was older he indulged his pastime;

• By saying to someone who had just praised his work,

• “I am a trifle deaf, you know. Do you mind repeating that a little louder?”

• His brother John, however,

• Was unassuming and content to be in his older brother’s shadow.

• He once said that the only compliment he ever received came when he was six.

• The maid was brushing his hair when she said to his mother’

• “Little John wasn’t all that cross-eyed!”

In verse 27 a woman publicly shouted out a compliment on behalf of Jesus:

• She meant well and what she said was indeed true;

• And Jesus did not fault her for what she said, in fact he confirmed it!

• But notice that he took her words and he broadened the scope of her praise;

• Into an instructive principle.

• The principle is this:

• If you want to be truly blessed then do not just listen to God’s word – obey it!

Ill:

• This is the very thing that Mary, the mother of Jesus had done.

• When she received a message (the word of God) from an angelic being;

• She obeyed the instruction she surrendered herself to his will!

Quote: Luke chapter 32 verse 38:

“I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

Then the angel left her”.

Quote: William Barclay:

“The world’s most common prayer is ‘Thy will be changed’.

Mary prayed the world’s greatest prayer; ‘Thy will be done!’”.

Question: What about us?

Ill:

• Wise & foolish builders.

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