The sign of the Prophet Jonah

By Cathleen Cathcart - Contributing Columnist
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Matthew 12 “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.”

Have you ever heard someone say, ”I would really believe in God if I could just see a miracle with my own eyes”? While we see how this could be effective in what a person may or may not accept as truth, we must understand that believing in what you see is not an act of faith. Jesus knew that these Pharisees were only looking for another miraculous sign to fulfill their own agenda and were not sincerely seeking to know Him. Jesus had already proven that He was the Messiah through many wondrous signs, hence, showing them something else would not convince them any further. You see, they had already decided that they would not believe in Him, so nothing he could do would change that.

Jesus called them a “wicked and adulterous generation” because He knew they had already seen enough miraculous proof to convince them that He was the Messiah if they would just open their hearts. Many were just wanting to find fault with Him and others had selfish motives. Jesus’ response still applies to us today because we have plenty of evidence through His birth, death, resurrection, and ascension, not to mention centuries of His work through believers around the world!

We should be looking at what God has already given, and done for us, rather than looking for additional evidence to accept that He is real. We are to accept by faith what we read in His Word and hear from the testimony of others. Just as Jonah spent three days in the belly of a great fish then went to Nineveh to preach God’s message and see the city repent, Jesus would spend three days in the grave and come out the victor, providing a way that we may have new life. It is quite interesting that people believed Jonah, yet, Jesus was even greater than Jonah and the people would still not accept that He was the Son of God by the many signs and wonders He did.

Be encouraged today that your faith pleases God. Don’t spend precious time looking for a sign as proof. The truth is, every difficult situation and problem we face is different, so today’s sign may help you believe, but what about tomorrow’s trouble? Will you need a new sign for a different circumstance? It is a never ending cycle of uncertainty and fear when we do not exercise faith in the unseen. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

I pray, “Father, renew my mind that I may concentrate on Your goodness and mercy. Forgive my doubt and accept my praise for your forgiveness, grace, and blessings. Let me be a better witness of Your amazing love and provision, in Jesus’ name I ask, amen.”

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By Cathleen Cathcart

Contributing Columnist

Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.

Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.