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

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority."

But Jesus replied, "Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights."

— Matthew 12:38-40 NLT

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 just to prove who he is. His previous miracles are testimony enough to his legitimacy. If people won't believe those miracles, if they can assign those mighty works to the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24), then they will not believe a new miracle. 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 evidence, more miracles, will not remove that doubt if the basic issue is lack of 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, adulterous generation."

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 11:1, 6
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7-10
  • John 7:16-17


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Illustration of Matthew 12:38-40 NLT — "Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.