Monday, July 22, 2019

Looking For a Sign?

“This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” – Luke 11:29

About 10 years ago I was driving to the church office one morning, and something happened that I’ll never forget. I was going through a dry spell in my spiritual life. I didn’t sense a closeness to the Lord. I was feeling discouraged and rather hopeless about my work as a pastor. As I was driving up the street I cried out to God in prayer and asked Him, “God, would you show me a sign that I’m where I’m supposed to be? Give me some hope.” As I finished that prayer, my car came to a stop at an intersection. And as I looked across the street, I saw a road sign from my own church that read, “There Is Hope!”

Isn’t God amazing? Months earlier I had asked one of our church members to put the sign at that intersection because I wanted people to know there was hope at First Christian Church, because Jesus is in this church, and there’s ALWAYS hope in Jesus. When I asked that Christian brother to place the sign at that intersection, I had no idea that one day it would be God’s sign of hope for me when I needed it the most.

Sometimes God gives us a sign to make our faith in Him even stronger. And in Luke 11, Jesus Christ shines a light on the greatest sign you’ll ever see. In fact, it’s the greatest sign that God has ever shown the world. In verses 29-36, Jesus was addressing a large crowd and spoke about those who demanded a sign from heaven: “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah” (v. 29). Now, Luke doesn’t tell us what the sign of Jonah is, but Matthew does: “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” (Matthew 12:40).

So, what is the sign of Jonah? It’s the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Or to say it more simply: The sign of Jonah is Jesus himself. Luke 11:30 makes this clear when Jesus says, “For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.” Almost 800 years earlier, Jonah was sent by God to the wicked city of Nineveh to preach to them. And in Jonah 3, the Ninevites believed Jonah’s message and repented from their sin.
Now, what sign did God give the Ninevites that Jonah’s message was true and should be taken seriously? The sign God gave them was Jonah himself.

Think about it. When the fierce storm was tearing apart the ship that Jonah was riding on, the sailors threw Jonah overboard. And with their own eyes they saw Jonah disappear under the waves. He did not resurface 30 seconds later, five minutes later or even one day later. Medically, what would we call a man who remained underwater for several days? We’d call him “dead.” And when this “dead” man came walking into town a week or two later, surely many of the Ninevites saw it as an act of God. In the same way, after three days in the grave, Jesus conquered death and, like Jonah, he was a dead man walking. And even though he had a resurrected, heavenly body, his glorified body still bore the scars in his hands and feet and side. So, the sign of Jonah that Jesus refers to is his own resurrected body.

Even before Jesus died and rose again, he walked among us as God’s sign from heaven. William Barclay hits the nail on the head as he writes, “[The crowd] could not see that the greatest sign that God could ever send was Jesus himself.” That’s why Jesus rebuked their generation and called it “wicked.” The greatest sign from heaven of God’s love, His perfect plan and wisdom, was right in front of them, and they were blind to it. And as our generation in 2019 ignores Jesus Christ and turns its back on him, Jesus turns to us and says the same thing: “This is a wicked generation!”

The crowds surrounding Jesus needed to wake up and see that the greatest sign from heaven was standing right in front of them. And our generation needs to do the same. The sign that we’ve been looking for all this time that proves God is real, that proves God is good, that proves God loves me and has a plan for my life has been right in front of us all along.

So, if you’re asking God to give you a sign, listen to His still, small reply: “I already have.”

Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville and the author of "Holy Huldah: Lessons You Should Never Forget from Bible Characters You've Never Heard Of." For more information, visit, and join us for our Worship Celebration Sundays at 10 a.m.

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