This Generation Does Not Need Any More Signs
"A generation incapable of appreciating such demonstrations shall not be gratified with them." - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
"The infidelity of those that have long enjoyed the means of conviction, is a great grief to the Lord Jesus; it troubles Him that sinners should thus stand in their own light, and put a bar in their own door." - Matthew Henry
"Our blessed Lord had already wrought miracles sufficient to demonstrate both His Divine mission and His divinity; only one was further necessary to take away the scandal of His cross and death, to fulfill the Scriptures, and to establish the Christian religion; and that was His resurrection from the dead, which, He...states, was typified in the case of Jonah."
- Adam Clarke
The Scriptures plainly state that Christ would be raised from the dead.
In Matthew 20:18-19, He stated - "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again."
In Mark 10:33-34, He stated - "...Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him; and the third day He shall rise again."
In Luke 18:31-33, He stated - "...Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death; and the third day He shall rise again."
Matthew 16:21 related - "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
Mark 8:31 related - "And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
In Luke 9:22, Jesus said - "...The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Again, in Matthew 17:9, we read - "And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead."
Mark 9:9 relates - "And as they came down from the mountain, He charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead."
Then again, in Matthew 26:32, Jesus plainly stated to His disciples - "But after I am risen again..."
In Mark 14:28, He said - "But after that I am risen..."
In spite of His teaching and all the countless miracles that He performed, the Jews were still not convinced that He was Who He said He was - the Messiah sent from God.
How do we know this?
Because, in John 2:18, we have them asking Him the question - "Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign showest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?"
They asked this question in response to His cleansing the temple of all thieves and robbers who came to make merchandise of His Father's house.
What was the cause for such zeal?
Why did He think to take it upon Himself to cleanse the temple?
Who gave Him this right?
Although Jesus had just performed the "sign" of turning the water into wine, the people were not yet convinced that He was of God. Their first question was - "What sign showest Thou unto us...?"
This pattern went on throughout His ministry. They wanted one more sign after another - not so that they could believe but simply to satisfy their curiosity.
Their whole attitude could be summed up in Jesus' words to the nobleman in John 4:48 which says - "...Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." What He was saying to them was this - Unless you have some striking miracle forced on your mind, you will not believe that I am the Messiah. You are so sluggish and backward to believe. No matter how much you see, you still want more and more signs.
In Matthew 16:1, it is recorded that the Pharisees and Sadducees came personally to Him asking for a sign - "The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired Him that He would show them a sign from heaven." This they did right after He miraculously fed the four thousand with seven loaves and a few little fishes.
His response to them was this - "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah..." (Matthew 16:4). Again, in Matthew 12:39, it is recorded that He said to the scribes and the Pharisees - "...An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah."
Jesus was greatly affected with their perverseness and obstinacy. No matter what they saw, they kept seeking sign after sign and still another sign to prove that He was truly sent by God. They wanted something as demonstrative as manna falling from heaven in the days of Moses or the walls of Jericho coming down in the days of Joshua.
What sign did He give them?
He gave them "the sign of the prophet Jonah."
What did He mean by this final proof and highest evidence of His Divine Mission?
Matthew 12:40 states - "For as Jonah 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."
Luke 11:30 records it this way - "For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation."
It is important to understand that - to a Jew - part of the day was received as the whole. They regarded any part of a day - however small - as a full day. In other words, it stood for a full twenty-four hour day. Also, when the Scriptures say - "after three days" - it actually means three days.
Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish." Most commentators agree that the "fish" was not a "whale" as we know it. It was more likely a shark for whales seldom passed through the Mediterranean Sea where Jonah was nor were their throats large enough to admit a man. Sharks are native to the Mediterranean Sea and have been known to swallow a man whole.
Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish." For "three days and three nights," he was miraculously preserved and then restored alive. On the basis of his preservation, the people of Ninevah believed that He was from God - divinely commissioned - and, resultantly, repented of their sins.
Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights. Similarly, Jesus would be in the heart of the earth - the interior of a thing - the grave or sepulchre - and rise again. This would be God's sign to all that He was truly sent from Him and divinely commissioned.
The people of Ninevah repented at the preaching of Jonah when they saw that he was miraculously preserved and restored to life. But, why aren't the people of this world repenting at the preaching of Jesus - the preaching of His Word - Who was dead, buried, and raised to life again?
What greater "sign" can there be than the Resurrection of Jesus to life again?
No man on the face of the earth can claim this "sign."
Yes, many were raised from the dead - but only to die again.
Jesus died once - was raised from the dead - and lives forevermore.
Just as in His days on earth, many today are seeking for one "sign" after another. They run from one Miracle meeting to the next, yet they are still not saved or serving Him as Lord and Master of their life.
God is shouting from heaven to mankind today - You don't need any more "signs"! You have your "sign"! It is the "sign" of the resurrection. If this doesn't convince you that Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth and worthy to be praised, honored, and served, then be forever damned with the rest of the unbelievers and infidels!
Saints of God, preach a resurrected Savior! Preach the Resurrection! This is God's last and highest evidence of Jesus' Divine Call and Mission.
Jesus is God in the flesh! How do we know this? For one thing - the "sign" of the resurrection proves it to be so.
We live in a "wicked and adulterous generation." It is "an evil and adulterous generation." Unlike the people of Ninevah who were totally convinced by Jonah's preservation in the "whale's belly," this present generation refuses to believe in spite of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
What will their final outcome be?
Luke 11:32 says - "The men of Ninevah shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here."
"The infidelity of those that have long enjoyed the means of conviction, is a great grief to the Lord Jesus; it troubles Him that sinners should thus stand in their own light, and put a bar in their own door."
Are you guilty of standing in your own light or putting a bar in your own door in order to block the truth?
Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.
Then, why aren't you serving Him like you should?
May God Bless His Word.