Intro: Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen (Heb 11:1). Therefore, faith is a humble attitude of expectation and trust in Christ to draw God’s grace or favor into our lives. We do not deserve grace, but when we humble ourselves and repent, God responds in love and pours his goodness upon us. The law of Moses [Mosaic covenant made by God] was a good thing, but grace and truth through Christ is even better (John 1:17). In fact, we are taught in Scripture “to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Eph 4:7). Grace is an extravagant Gift from God; the riches of heaven that are apportioned as Christ directs. As his followers, let’s wisely position ourselves with our Master.
In our passage today, the teachers of religious law demand a sign to prove Christ’s authority; that he was sent by God. God’s grace empowered Moses to perform many signs that would convince others he was sent by God. The religious leaders demand a sign to see what Jesus can do in order to decide if God sent him. Jesus confronts these faithless expectations with a sign of salvation he had already sent so many years earlier; as Jonah was resurrected out of the belly (grave) of the fish, so the Son of Man would be resurrected from the tomb of the earth (grave).
To reject Jesus is to make evil one’s master which brings God’s judgment. Jesus walked by faith and lived in the grace provided; in doing so, he demonstrated a deep love for humanity and performed one miracle after another for those willing to embrace humility and repentance. As Christ’s humble followers, miraculous signs can continue among us in order to demonstrate the power of Christ to save humanity from sin and death. I am so grateful Christ has written his law on our hearts and given us the Spirit who bears witness to the Truth, so we can walk obediently by faith and receive the grace of God as we live, move, and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28).
Matthew 12:39-42 NLT The Sign of Jonah
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”
39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent. 42 The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.
Prayer: Lord, throughout history, you have proven your love for humanity. Everything we could possibly need for salvation has been provided in Christ. Thank you for your favor and for grace that is more than sufficient for our every need. By faith, we will walk forward each day knowing you are with us and your purpose for our lives will be fulfilled. You have promised and by faith we believe. In Jesus’ name. Amen.