Signs and Privileges

signs

We know from His temptations that Jesus was tempted to use the sensational to accomplish His purpose and mission, and in this short passage we can see why.

godhands_jpg
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” About the year AD 45, a man named Theudas rose up and was claiming that he was the Jewish Messiah. He convinced people to follow him out to the Jordan River with a promise to part the waters of the river and and give a path to the other side. He failed. His movement, as well as his life, were dealt with by the Romans. But this is the kind of thing the people wanted from Jesus – spectacular feats to wow the crowds and prove his claims. They just could not see that the greatest sign God could send was Jesus himself.
But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

jonah
Jeremiah 3:14 says – ““Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband….which leads to Jeremiah 3:20 – “But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬. The people of God have been wandering from their husband, the bride of Christ always seeking after signs and other Gods. But just as Jonah had been Gods sign to Ninevah, so is Jesus Gods sign to them – and they fail to see. But there will be a great sign to come – Jesus will be swallowed up by the grave for three days, but will be reversed on the third day, followed by a great mission to the Gentiles and the world.
The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.  The people of Nineveh repented and were saved from Gods impending wrath due to the preaching of Jonah – “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.” Jonah‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬. How many of those in the presence of Christ would do the same?

queen-of-sheba
The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The Queen of Sheba recognized the wisdom of Solomon and travelled a far distance to hear it. God himself came to these people and they would refuse to hear. In the day of judgement the people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba would rise and condemn these Jews because they repented and came to God at the teaching of mere mortals. They had an opportunity and privilege far greater than those before ever had and refused to accept it. Their condemnation would be much more complete because their privilege was so great.
Think of the privileges we have. First – we have our bible. There was a time when the penalty for teaching the English Bible was death. In those days people would sit up all night for the privilege of hearing the word of God in English. They would pay a high price (talking money now) for a copy, or even just a few chapters. William Tyndale produced the first printed bible in England. In his own words, for this he suffered “poverty, exile, bitter absence from friends, hunger and thirst and cold, great dangers and innumerable other hard and sharp fightings.” In 1536, he met his death at the hands of the church. He was covered head to toe in gunpowder and blown to smithereens.

more-and-the-burning-of-heretics-300x171
Our bible came at a great cost. We have a great privilege in possessing the bible, and with that privilege comes a responsibility for which we will have to answer.
Second – we have the privilege to worship however we might like. This is also a privilege which has come at the loss of life of many. Yet so many use our freedom in order to not worship at all. This privilege is also a responsibility for which we will have to answer.

the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse
We have many privileges in America. If we possess Christ, and His book, and His church, we are heirs of all the privileges of God. If we neglect or refuse those privileges, like the Jews during the time of Christ, we will have to answer for it.

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭12:38-42‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.12.38-42.esv

John Lewis

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Signs and Privileges

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s