Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 12 : 38-40
The Pharisees request for a sign was ridiculous. For one thing had they missed all the miracles and healings? Jesus had by this point clearly shown himself to have power from God. But not only that Jesus didn’t need a sign because the vast majority of what he taught wasn’t even new. The messages of forgiveness, repentance and faithfulness in Jesus’s teaching, are all there in the Old Testament. Jesus for the most part was not teaching anything new, but reminding people of what God had already told them. So these Pharisees wanted a sign to convince them to do what they should have known all along!
Jesus says they will get a sign, but it will be the sign of Jonah: 3 days in darkness. This is foreshadowing the three days and nights that Jesus would spend in the grave before rising from the grave. This would be a sign, not just that the lessons that Jesus taught were true, but that Jesus had defeated death and ushered in something entirely new.
Prayer: Merciful God, I am sorry for when I demand more and more evidence even when I know what is the right thing to do. It’s easy to make excuses, it’s harder to act. Help me to be more trusting and to not rely on signs and wonders to do what is right.
Action: Is there something you’ve been putting off because you’re wating for a sign that it’s the right moment? Maybe today is the day to grasp the nettle and do it?