Matthew 12:39, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas”
If there was ever “an evil and adulterous generation,” it’s surely this present generation we live in, where there is a widespread of people seeking after signs (the same word in the Greek as “miracles”). The explosive rise of the so-called New Age movement has produced an amazing interest in all forms of occultism and supernatural phenomena such as astrology, channeling, ESP, near-death experiences, UFO’s, meditation, and mysticism of many strange varieties. Even in the Christian circles, there is an unhealthy interest in new revelations and other supernatural signs. The Christ-rejecting religious leaders who requested a sign from Jesus had plenty of evidence for believing.
They had undoubtedly heard of, if not seen, His miracles of healing, casting out demons, and even raising the dead. What more did they need? Jesus therefore called them an “evil generation” (Luke 11:29). The only sign they would be given was the sign of Jonah the prophet, who had been thrown into a stormy sea (Jonah 1:2-3). When the Ninevites heard Jonah’s message of repentance after he had spent 3 days in the belly of a fish, they believed God had sent him and they repented. Likewise, the religious leaders who already knew of Jesus’ words and works would soon see Him crucified and securely entombed. And in the following weeks they would hear personal testimonies from those who had seen Him alive, and had even touched Him, but they still wouldn’t believe.
Additionally, the Scriptures succinctly tell us that the Lord Jesus rebuked those who wanted special signs before receiving Him. “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). My friend, He has already given us the greatest of all signs – His bodily resurrection from the dead, the best-evidenced fact of all history – and this should suffice, as He told the scribes and Pharisees in the book of Matthew. In fact, there is a real danger in seeking such signs and wonders, for many of these things, while perhaps supernatural, are not from God.
Matthew 24:24 tell us, “For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew great sings and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Unlike the first generation of Christians, we now have the complete written Word of God, both Old and New Testaments, and it is sufficient for every need of every believer until Christ returns, “whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day down, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
My friend, today we don’t need to be seeking signs. The Scriptures have recorded for us what Jesus said and did, written by people who knew Him. So, if we are open to the truth of God’s Word, we have all the evidence we need to believe and we don’t need to be wasting our time as sign-seekers! There is real danger in seeking signs and dabbling in the occultism and supernatural phenomena such as astrology, channeling, ESP, near-death experiences, UFO’s, meditation, and mysticism of so many strange varieties. In simple terms, many of these things, while perhaps supernatural, aren’t from God, our Creator.
The sign of genuine faith is faith that needs no sign.