Matthew 12:38
12:38-45 Though Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet those who ask amiss, ask and have not. Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again. The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting; the queen of Sheba, for not believing in Christ. And we have no such cares to hinder us, we come not to Christ upon such uncertainties. This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ.

Mt 12:38-50. A Sign Demanded and the Reply—His Mother and Brethren Seek to Speak with Him, and the Answer. ( = Lu 11:16, 24-36; Mr 3:31-35; Lu 8:19-21).

A Sign Demanded, and the Reply (Mt 12:38-45).

The occasion of this section was manifestly the same with that of the preceding.

38. Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master—"Teacher," equivalent to "Rabbi."

we would see a sign from thee—"a sign from heaven" (Lu 11:16); something of an immediate and decisive nature, to show, not that His miracles were real—that they seemed willing to concede—but that they were from above, not from beneath. These were not the same class with those who charged Him with being in league with Satan (as we see from Lu 11:15, 16); but as the spirit of both was similar, the tone of severe rebuke is continued.

Matthew 12:37
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