THERE IS MORE SAID IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW
TEXT: Matthew 12:38-45:
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
William Barclay said, “Jesus is God’s sign, just as Jonah was God’s message to the Ninevites and Solomon God’s wisdom to the Queen of Sheba. The one real question in life is: “What is our reaction when we are confronted with God in Jesus Christ?” Is that reaction bleak hostility, as it was in the case of the Scribes and Pharisees? Or, is it humble acceptance of God’s warning and God’s truth as it was in the case of the people of Nineveh, and of the Queen of Sheba? The all-important question is: “What do you think of the Christ?”
Throughout this entire chapter of Matthew 12, which we have been dealing with for quite a few months now, the central theme is the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees, or as we saw in our last series-within-a-series, it is really about the conflict between Jesus and Satan. This theme will continue throughout our new series that we are starting today, as the Pharisees once again speak after Jesus warned them against blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says about this passage, “Though Jesus had just performed a significant sign-miracle, the religious leaders asked for a miraculous sign. Their statement implied that they rejected the many signs given so far. In effect they were saying, “We would just like to see one good sign from You.” The Lord suggested that signs should not be necessary for faith, even though He had given them many signs. Only a wicked and adulterous generation asked for signs. “Adulterous” suggests that Israel was spiritually unfaithful to God by its religious formality and its rejection of the Messiah. But no more signs would be given to that generation except the sign of the Prophet Jonah. As Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish for three days and three nights the Son of Man would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. (Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the “three days and three nights” could permit a Friday crucifixion.) Of course, by giving this sign Jesus was demonstrating that they had already decided to reject Him. For Him to fulfill this sign, He would have to be rejected, die, and be buried. By the time this sign would be accomplished, it would be too late for them to accept His right to rule over the nation as King. The generation He addressed had an unusual privilege, afforded to no previous generation. The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of a mere man, Jonah. The Queen of the South came to listen to the wisdom of a man, Solomon. The response of the Ninevites and of the Queen was commendable. But One greater than Jonah and Solomon was with this generation, and instead of accepting Him, they were rejecting Him. Their judgment will be certain when they stand before the Judge in the final day. Again pagan peoples were more responsive than the Jewish nation itself. This generation of sign-seekers stood condemned in the final judgment. To show what their condition on earth would be if they persisted in unbelief, Jesus compared them to a man who had found deliverance from a demon (an evil spirit), perhaps through a Jewish exorcist. After the man was delivered, he tried by every natural means to clean up his life and set things in order. But mere “religion” is never effective so the man lacked a supernatural conversion. Consequently he was subject to possession again with more serious ramifications. Instead of one demon possessing him, he became possessed by seven other spirits. His latter condition was worse than his former. The Pharisees and other religious leaders were in danger of that happening to them for their attempts at reformation, without the power of God, were sterile. They clearly did not understand God’s power, for they had just confused the power of the Spirit with the power of Satan. Thus they were wide-open targets for Satan.”
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.