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The demand for a sign

Gospel Reading: Mt 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.”

There is something greater than jonah… Solomon here. The scribes and Pharisees refuse to believe in Jesus though they have witnessed his miracles and heard his teachings. They demand still another sign.

Jesus does not take the bait; he knows they are just playing games with him. In fact, his reply sounds harsh. He considers them an evil and unfaithful generation unworthy of miracles. Enough is enough. Another miracle will be useless, for they will not believe and repent anyway. The people of Nineveh fared much better; they repented when they heard Jonah preach. Earlier, the pagan Queen of Sheba traveled far to listen to the wisdom of Solomon. The Pharisees do not realize that Jesus is greater than Jonah and Solomon.

The Jews have a rich spiritual heritage. They have the prophets like Jonah and sages like Solomon. But their religious leaders do not accept Jesus and his good news.

We Christians acknowledge Jesus as our greatest teacher. Yet many of us still demand miracles. The message of Jonah should suffice: Repent and believe.

Do you just consider Jesus
as the greatest miracle
calling you to life? What greater
sign can there be
for us Christians
than his resurrection?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.