Even though the Pharisees are being incredibly obnoxious in the way they just don’t “get” it, the sad-sack in this picture reminded me that there are lots of other people who are missing the boat and, when you think about it, that’s very, very sad. I want to be on that boat and I want to bring lots of people with me.
- V38 – These guys are painfully obtuse. Do they mean a sign apart from the hundreds of healing miracles Jesus has performed so far and His uncanny ability to understand and correctly interpret Scripture? Or were they looking for something more along the lines of raising people from the dead and controlling nature? Oh wait, He’s done that too.
◊ When Jesus asks me to do something, do I ask Him for a “sign” to confirm this is really what He wants me to do, even though He’s already confirmed it in several different ways and through other people and what I’m really doing is putting off obedience?
- V39 – They’re “adulterous” because they’ve been unfaithful to God.
- V39-40 – The fact that Jonah was swallowed and spit out by a fish en route to Nineveh was a pretty clear sign to the Ninevites that he had been sent by God. So, essentially, Jesus is saying “I’m not going to give you any sign…except for the fact that I will RISE AGAIN after being dead for 3 days!!” Is that blatant enough for you?!
- V41 – Our “generation” may receive the greatest condemnation because we have such ample and ready evidence of the Gospel. We have access to God’s Word and there are so many resources available to help us understand it.
- V42 – Some people go to great lengths to hear and be taught by God’s Wisdom, but others who have it in their laps ignore it, distrust it, don’t believe it, reject it, etc. This makes me think of the difference between Christians in countries where they can be imprisoned for their faith and people in America.
◊ Am I taking advantage of the resources that are readily available to me to help me learn more about God and strengthen my relationship with Him?
- V41-42 – My ESV study Bible points out that in these verses Jesus says that He’s greater than Jonah (a prophet), Solomon (a king), and in verse 6 He said He was greater than the temple (the place where the priests serve). He just asserted Himself as the ultimate Priest, Prophet, and King!
- V43-45 – He follows up the previous two verses with an illustration to show that once they have heard the Gospel and seen Jesus at work, if they still choose to reject Him they will be worse off than if they had never seen or heard about Him. It’s also a reminder that we can’t just “clean up our act” and call it good. Self-control and moral living can present a clean exterior, but if they aren’t springing from the Holy Spirit inside of us they are empty practices. When the Holy Spirit fills our hearts there won’t be room for evil thoughts or spirits to come in and take over.
- V46 – See Mark 3:21 for a possible reason why is family was there. Jesus backs up His previous statement in 10:37 with His own family. His first priority had to be preaching the Gospel. On the other hand, we know He’s not saying we shouldn’t love, honor, and care for our own families (see Matt 15:1-9 and John 19:25-27) but He’s using this as a teaching moment to expand people’s idea of “family.”
- V50 – He establishes the idea of “Christian family” or looking to our fellow disciples to fulfill the role of family we may miss when we have to leave our family to follow Him.
◊ Am I a good “sibling” to my fellow disciples, specifically those in my church family? Do I learn from those older than me and help to teach and mentor those younger? Do I look to them when I need help and readily offer what I have when someone else has a need?
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?