Matthew 12:39 // 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…”

The great sign of which our Savior displayed his saving power was the sign of Jonah. You’ll remember that it was upon Jonah's sin that the LORD hurled a great wind and a mighty tempest. It was the LORD’s judgment that threatened to break the ship. It was while Jonah was sleeping in the inner part of the ship that the captain implored all of the men to cry out to their own gods. It was on Jonah whom the lot fell. It was Jonah who was hurled into the sea that caused the raging to cease. It was Jonah who was in the belly of the great fish for three days and nights. It was Jonah who was vomited out upon the dry land. And it was through Jonah's preaching that the pagan nations repented and came to know the mercy and grace of God.

When our Savior was upon the earth, unbelieving hearts were unimpressed by his humble countenance and demanded, "Perform a powerful sign and then we will believe." Yet the one sign that Jesus came to give was the one sign that those puffed with pride can’t bear to receive. The proud want a sign that keeps their sin far from the presence of God, but only the sign of Jonah confronts our waywardness with the fierceness of its consequences. The proud want a sign that is not personally disruptive, but only the sign of Jonah threatens to break up all securities we have apart from Christ. The proud would receive a sign from any god who might deliver them from temporarily perishing, but only the sign of Jonah can deliver unto eternal life. The proud try to row themselves out from beneath God's judgment, but only the sign of Jonah can be hurled into the sea to cease its raging. The proud believe they can attain life, but only the sign of Jonah is able to defeat death. The proud care little of the fate of the nations, but only the sign of Jonah pursues them with a merciful and gracious heart. 

Let us then with humbled hearts receive from God the one sign we have been given, the sign of Jonah, and then proclaim among the nations, “Something greater than Jonah is here.”