Matthew 12:38-45

The Sign of Jonah

38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 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.
41 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.
42 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.
43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.
44 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.
45 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.”

Matthew 12:38 in Other Translations

KJV
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
ESV
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."
NLT
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”
MSG
38 Later a few religion scholars and Pharisees got on him. "Teacher, we want to see your credentials. Give us some hard evidence that God is in this. How about a miracle?"
CSB
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."

Matthew 12:38-45 In-Context

36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 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.
41 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.
42 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.
43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.
44 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.
45 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.”
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

Cross References 10

  • 1. S John 2:11; S John 4:48
  • 2. Matthew 16:1; Mark 8:11,12; Luke 11:16; John 2:18; John 6:30; 1 Corinthians 1:22
  • 3. Matthew 16:4; Luke 11:29
  • 4. John 1:17
  • 5. S Matthew 8:20
  • 6. S Matthew 16:21
  • 7. John 1:2
  • 8. John 3:5
  • 9. 1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1
  • 10. 2 Peter 2:20
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