38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:38-42
The religious leaders already saw countless miracles up to this point, but they weren’t satisfied. They would never be satisfied. What would Jesus need to do to prove himself?
Fortunately, the Son of God never needed to prove Himself to anyone. His responses were as much for his disciples and those who gathered around Him as they were for the leaders. Of course, we get to absorb His wisdom as well.
In this passage, Jesus used Jonah, the Queen of the South, and Solomon as examples of great witnesses for the truth, but notes that someone greater than all three was in their midst.
It’s hard to get into the religious leaders’ mindset. I doubt they truly cared about Jesus Himself or his welfare. They sought to trap Him many times. They thought they were being clever but He knew them well.
Jesus gave us the answer they needed to hear but it would have been interesting if He had turned the question back on them: what sign would convince you that I am the Son of God? Of course we know that no sign would have satisfied them.
People today may not believe the Gospel message but they are confronted with people whose lives have been changed, namely yours and mine. But that’s where we bow out and let the Holy Spirit minister and draw people to Himself as only He can do.
People don’t need more convincing or evidence that Jesus is who He said He was.
They do need to be drawn to Him. We pray for that to happen for the ones we know and befriend.