Sign of Jonah, Part 2 - Matthew 12:39-40

Friday February 26

Sign of Jonah, Part 2 - Matthew 12:39-40 (ESV)

"But [Jesus] answered them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.'"


How are you at reading signs? A person can learn much from observing the world around them. I have been told that some wise tribal leaders have sent young mothers, who have not cared well for their children, to the bison pasture. This is neither cruel nor unusual punishment.

You might be wondering what good will it do to have these mothers spend more time away from their children. In doing so, these young ladies will observe the interaction and the roles of the various bison cows and their calves, as well as the bulls of the herd. They each have a role and a place in the herd. The bison cows take great responsibility in caring for and protecting their calves.

If we can learn so much from watching wild animals, how much more can we learn from studying the signs recorded in the Word of God? Sadly, those who are wicked simply will never understand the sign of Jonah, nor its connection to the Son of Man.

Yahweh provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and, for three days and three nights, he was in the inner parts of the fish. Jonah remembered the mercy of God, cried out to Him in faith, and was delivered from his watery grave.

On Good Friday, while Jesus hung suspended between heaven and earth, darkness covered the place of the skull for three hours. Jesus cried out in utter despair, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” No mercy came for God’s Son. None!

Jesus died and was buried. Like Jonah, Jesus was delivered from His grave on the third day. Only those, whose eyes have been opened by the Spirit of God, trust in the sign of Jonah, and its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Dear Father in heaven,
Your Son cried for mercy, but for our sake, You forsook Him. In so doing, Your Son paid in full for sin and its consequences. By grace, we not only see the sign of Jonah, but we also see Jesus as our Lord and Savior and  are blessed to live with the hope of our resurrection.


Pastor Ricky Jacob - Winnebago, Nebraska