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.
Charles Spurgeon said, “The great sign of our Lord’s mission is his resurrection, and his preparing a gospel of salvation for the heathen. His life-story is well symbolized by that of Jonah. They cast our Lord overboard, even as the sailors did the man of God. The sacrifice of Jonah calmed the sea for the mariners, our Lord’s death made peace for us. Our Lord was a while in the heart of the earth as Jonah was in the depth of the sea, but he rose again, and his ministry was full of the power of his resurrection. As Jonah’s ministry was certified by his restoration from the sea, so is our Lord’s ministry attested by his rising from the dead. The man who had come back from death and burial in the sea commanded the attention of all Nineveh, and so does the risen Saviour demand and deserve the obedient faith of all to whom his message comes.”
In our last message we looked at some background information regarding this passage and how the religious Jews were wide-open targets for Satan due to their refusal to have faith in God and their demanding a sign. Their persistent unbelief would lead to damnation.
Here is one of three things that we can learn from this passage:
First, no sign will be given but the resurrection of Jesus. Matthew 12:38-40 says, “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 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: 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.” Some of the scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus to give them a sign. This is very strange, for Jesus has just cast a demon out of a man who was blind and mute. He could now see and speak again. But despite having just seen this, they asked Jesus for another miraculous sign. The truth is, even if Jesus had performed another miracle for them, the Pharisees and scribes would still not have believed. They had already tried to explain away Jesus’ earlier miracle by accusing Him of gaining power from the devil. The Jews did not acknowledge the miracles that Jesus had already wrought, and they did not believe even after Jesus rose from the dead, which is the exact sign that Jesus tells them they will get in verse 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.” Jonah is what theologians call a typical prophecy. He is a type, or prefigure of Christ. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for the 3 days and 3 nights, Christ would be in the depths of the earth for three days and three nights. Now, because Jesus was crucified on Friday and was resurrected on Sunday morning, some people claim this prophecy is incorrect and was not fulfilled. Even some Christians claim that Matthew must have made a mistake writing this down. But Matthew did not make a mistake and Jesus did fulfil this prophecy. Three days and three nights does not necessarily mean three full days and three full nights. The Jewish Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived in the first century just a few decades after the ascension of Jesus, wrote in his teachings that “A day and a night make a whole day, and a portion of a whole day is reckoned as a whole day.” We still do this today. If you say you are taking a three-day trip somewhere, nobody would call you a liar if you arrived Thursday evening and left Saturday morning. It is the same way with Jesus’ three days in the grave. There is no contradiction. No sign would be given to the Pharisees except the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which in a way was foretold through the prophet Jonah. John MacArthur said, “When we are confronted with the living Christ and His death and resurrection from the dead, then the matter of destiny will be determined. And if you turn your back then, no matter how religious you appear, no matter how holy you try to be, you show yourself to be a vile sinner who hates God because of what you do with Christ. That was the only sign they would ever see, and they showed their true sinfulness in the face of that sign.” If you are one of those who claim that you will accept Christ if only God will give you a sign, which if you did get one, you would probably write off as coincidence, you need to stop lying to yourself and take heed to the sign that God has already given to you: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Abraham told the rich man in hell in Luke 16:31 said, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” The Jewish religious leaders did not heed the prophecies about Jesus written in the Old Testament, and they did not believe even after Jesus rose from the dead. Don’t be like them. Take heed to God’s word and come to Christ.
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.