What Jesus Did! 'One Greater Is Here' — Matthew 12:41-42

Thursday, June 17, 2021

[Jesus continued his response to the Jewish leaders who asked for a sign:] "The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here — but you refuse to repent. The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here — but you refuse to listen."
— Matthew 12:41-42 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus makes two emphatic claims to his religious skeptics: (1) In the past, foreigners recognized the greatness and wisdom of God's leaders and responded to the truth that they spoke, but his skeptics did not come to him — they will have to face judgment for being so hard-hearted; (2) He is greater than Jonah or Solomon and still his skeptics have rejected him — so judgment against them is more than deserved. Jesus is greater! He is greater than Moses, greater than angels, greater than Elijah, greater than John the Baptist; he is greater. To reject him is to reject God's greatest message and our greatest hope.

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, today I want to pray for several of my friends who have not come to faith in Jesus. They have rejected his salvation either by neglect or by a conscious decision. Please open their hearts and work in their lives so they will have another opportunity to come to know Jesus as their Lord and will respond to that opportunity. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 4:12
  • Hebrews 1:1-4
  • John 7:16-17


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Illustration of Matthew 12:41-42 NLT —  Now someone greater than Jonah is here — but you refuse to repent.

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.