“…no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
– Matthew 16:4
The desire to shut down Jesus’ ministry was so strong, two opposing religions joined forces against Him, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They came to Jesus, asking for a sign. Not just a miracle, but something to show them who He really said He was. They wanted to examine the evidence, but evidence had already been given.
The leaders and people wanted the end of persecution from the Roman oppression. In their minds, if Jesus was the Messiah, He would defeat the Romans, set Himself up as the leader in the land, and bring peace in their time. But that was not Jesus’ mission, this time. His mission was to prepare the way to heaven spiritually. It was to die on the cross.
Jesus said the only sign He would give is the sign of Jonah. This spoke of His death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection on the third day. It is this sign, and what Jesus did for us that should bring us to a place where we recognize and confess we are sinners, accept Him into our hearts and follow after Him. This is the sign for the “few” who understand the evidence given, not the “many” who are looking for evidence desired.
There really is no other way around it, is there? Jesus’ message is so clear here that there is just no mistaking what must be done to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Yet many will miss it because “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14). The many do not find it, not because they are not looking for it, but because it is difficult. It is difficult because it requires the surrender of self will daily, which the many are unwilling to do (Matt. 16:24-25).
Jesus made it very clear He is God incarnate…He is the Messiah! It is only belief in Him that allows you will obtain eternal life. What sign are you looking for? Jesus has already given it. Will you be part of the few or the many?
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. And He left them and departed.”
– Matthew 16:4