I Am Your Sign Dear Lord,
As I write this blog, I am distracted by all the stuff I have to get done today before we go on our vacation, plus some emotional tension as well. Jesus, please help me to put all that aside and see what you want me to see in these verses. Help me to write only what you want me to write. Thank you. Amen.
Matthew 12:38-45 NIV
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you”.
He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
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.
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.
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.
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says,” ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that
person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
The Pharisees were so blinded by their status and their pride that they did not see themselves as wicked, they did not know that the enemy was living inside of them and was influencing them. They truly did not know God, even though their lives were dedicated to God.
Jesus was trying to communicate with them in a way that they could understand, through the stories of Jonah who after the experience of living inside of a huge fish, quit running from what God was calling him to do and the result of his obedience helped save the lives of the people of Nineveh. They heard God’s warning to them through Jonah, and repented of their sins and turned to God.
Also the Queen of the South (the Queen of Sheba), was a rich, and powerful woman, who came to seek knowledge and wisdom from Solomon about God, and became a believer.
These were great stories about two great men that the Pharisees knew well. Perhaps they saw them as celebrities, and put them up on pedestals to be honored and memorialized. Perhaps they were like gods to them.
But now, Jesus said that one greater than Jonah and Solomon was standing right in front of them and they did not know him!
Jesus referred to Jonah to illustrate what was about to happen to him. They did not understand then, and many did not believe or understand even after his death and resurrection. This has always astounded me. The Pharisees were being influenced and controlled by the enemy. They had gotten so used to it and so comfortable, that they did not know what they were doing.
Jesus was their sign! And he is our sign too!
The second part of Jesus’s message was about the impure spirits that roam around in search of a place to rest.
He finds places to rest in anyone who leaves the door open for him to enter.
How easy it is for the enemy to invade us! Even though we believe in God, even though we attend church and read the bible. He still gets in and tries to get us to give up. It’s in the daily living that we let the enemy come in and make a mess!
This happened to me last night. I called my Mom; who we are getting ready to go see this week, along with the rest of my family and a few friends. I hadn’t called her in a while and wanted to see how she was doing, and let her know our plans. Well, all of a sudden the conversation became very negative, she said something about someone else that I did not agree with, and it continued for a bit until we changed the subject to something else. The enemy knew just how to get to me and he used my own Mom to do it! I was caught off guard and let her words get to me.
After the phone call I was trying to let go of what she had said, and what came to me was Pastor Delton’s phrase, “Third Party Alert!”.
I knew that the enemy had gotten his hooks in and was the cause of this tension and unrest, but I could not get rid of it on my own. I didn’t want the negative thoughts and feelings to control me. I tried on my own to take my mind off of it, by reading, or watching t.v., but it didn’t help. I just had to be alone with God to work through and let go of it all. This huge battle was going on inside of me, I could not talk about it with anyone but God, because no one could really understand except God. I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn’t, so I got up after everyone else went to bed and just let it all out.
I gave it all to him, I prayed for my Mom that she would have peace and let go of all the stuff in her mind and heart that she needs deliverance from. I prayed for myself and my family and the trip that we are about to take, asking for this time to talk and pray and hopefully make some positive changes.
This morning I feel a better, but there are aftershocks, like with an earthquake. The enemy is still trying to get me to dwell on it all again. But I have Jesus to help me fight him off!
I am just so thankful that I know Jesus and can call on his name. He is helping me today to let go of my hurts and let him heal me. I know that there is still more healing ahead, between myself and my Mom that I don’t really know how to resolve, but with God’s help we will.
I just had a thought, that maybe God is using this stormy time in my relationship with my Mom to help us both to find forgiveness and peace with each other. And even more than that I hope it is a start of my Mom and all of my family to be reconciled to God and be united through Jesus!
The Changed, change! Change me Jesus, and let me help others who need to change too. Amen.