What Jesus Did! 'No Miracle on Demand' — Matthew 12:38-40

Friday, June 16, 2017

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus. They said, "Teacher, we want to see you do a miracle as a sign (proof)." Jesus answered, "Evil and sinful people are the ones that want to see a miracle for a sign (proof). But no miracle will be given as a sign to those people. The only sign will be the miracle that happened to the prophet Jonah. Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights."
— Matthew 12:38-40
Illustration of Matthew 12:38-40 — "Teacher, we want to see you do a miracle as a sign (proof)."

Key Thought

Jesus is not a performer. He will not allow his ministry to be reduced to a sideshow. He ministers out of compassion and concern for people. He will not work a miracle to prove who he is. His previous miracles are testimony enough to his legitimacy. If they won't believe those miracles, if they can assign those mighty works to the power of Satan, then they will not believe a new one. Jesus will give no miracle on demand. Faith is about trusting in what he has done. Faith is the bottom line. Faith will always have mystery and be susceptible to doubt. More proof, more miracles, will not remove that doubt if the basic issue is faith. If hearts are hardened to him, if hearts are not looking to believe, if hearts are wanting to condemn and ridicule, then faith is lost. It's not an issue of facts, truth, or reason; it's a matter of an "evil and unbelieving heart."

Today's Prayer

Holy God, give me an honest heart of faith. Help me see Jesus for who he truly is. Take my faith and make it stronger and richer. Use my life to serve you and bring others to know your Son. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus. They said, "Teacher, we want to see you do a miracle as a sign (proof)." Jesus answered, "Evil and sinful people are the ones that want to see a miracle for a sign (proof). But no miracle will be given as a sign to those people. The only sign will be the miracle that happened to the prophet Jonah. Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights. On the judgment day, you people that live now will be compared with the people from Nineveh, and they will be witnesses to show that you are wrong (guilty). Why? Because when Jonah preached to those people, they changed their hearts and lives. And you are listening to someone greater than Jonah, {but you refuse to change}! On the judgment day, you people that live now will also be compared with the Queen of the South, and she will be a witness to show that you are wrong (guilty). Why? Because she traveled from far, far away to listen to Solomon's wise teaching. And I tell you that someone greater than Solomon is right here, {but you won't listen to me}! "When an evil spirit {from the devil} comes out of a person, that spirit travels through dry places looking for a place to rest. But that spirit finds no place to rest. So the spirit says, 'I will go back to the home (person) I left.' When the spirit comes back to that person, the spirit finds that home (person) still empty. That home is swept clean and made neat. Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself. Then all the spirits go into that person and live there. And that person has even more trouble than he had before. It is the same way with the evil people that live today." While Jesus was talking to the people his mother and brothers stood outside. They wanted to talk to Jesus. A person told Jesus, "Your mother and brothers are waiting for you outside. They wantto talk to you." Jesus answered, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" Then Jesus pointed to his followers and said, "See! These people are my mother and my brothers. My true brother and sister and mother is any person that does the things my Father in heaven wants."

Matthew 12:38-50

Related Scripture Readings

Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we don't see it.

Hebrews 11:1 & 6

We live by what we believe, not by what we can see. So I say that we have confidence. And we really want to be away from this body and be at home with the Lord. Our only goal is to please God. We want to please him when we are living here {in our body} or there {with the Lord}. We must all stand before Christ to be judged. Each person will get what he should. Each person will be paid for the things he did—good or bad—when he lived in the earthly body.

2 Corinthians 5:7-10

Jesus answered, "The things I teach are not my own. My teaching comes from him (God) who sent me. If a person wants to do what God wants, then that person will know that my teaching comes from God. That person will know that this teaching is not my own.

John 7:16-17

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.