"Jesus Authority over the Evidence"-Matthew 12:38-45

Core Practice: Bible Study I read the Bible to know God, the truth, and to find direction for my daily life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Scripture: Matthew 12:38-45

“ Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”  But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.  “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.  Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

Message of the Passage:

How many times have you heard someone say, “If only I could see Jesus do a miracle, then I would believe Him.”?  Such conversations have occurred repeatedly throughout history, beginning with Jesus, the scribes and the Pharisees.  Apparently, what He has done so far is not enough to convince these men. The request is not necessarily wrong in itself; God gave Abraham a sign to confirm his faith (Gen. 15). But Jesus knows nothing can convince the scribes and Pharisees. They only seek more ammunition to use against Him.

Matthew Henry comments, “Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet he will not gratify corrupt lusts and humors.”

As we saw last week there can be no neutral ground when it comes to Christ.

The point in today’s passage is not to provide a thorough explanation of demon-possession and exorcism, though these verses do have bearing on that subject. Instead, Christ is emphasizing once again the necessity of wholehearted commitment to Himself. It is not enough to experience grace, forgiveness and healing; repentance and obedience must follow. Life-transforming discipleship must fill the void left by sin and evil. Otherwise it would be better not to be freed from such slavery at all.

Personal Reflection:

Use the following questions to help review the application of God’s Word to our Head (What does God want me to know?), to our Heart (What does God want me to desire/value?), and to our Hands (What does God want me to do?)

  • Looking back at the message, is there anything that especially resonated or challenged you?

  • From this passage, what aspect of Jesus’ character and work is particularly meaningful and encouraging to you?

  • How would your daily living change if you were responding to the situations and relationships of life from a heart filled with hope in the Lord?

  • What needs to take place for something to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for you? Such as, if you were a juror, what would sway you more, the evidence, the witness, and your feelings, or …?  

  • Why can there be no neutrality when it comes to Christ? 

  • Do you think the moral condition of America in 2018 is getting worse, better or about the same as in the past? Why do you say that?

  • If someone came to you asking for more evidence of the truthfulness of Jesus, what would you point them to as evidence they already have?

  • The story of the demon who leaves the man and then returns with seven other demons is a warning against wanting Jesus’ benefits without wanting Jesus. How do you protect yourself from that slippery slope.