Sermon: The Son-of-God Sign (Luke 11:29-36)

The Son of God Sign

Luke 11:29-36

In order to understand this text that’s before us today we need to go back and witness together, Jesus casting out an evil spirit from the man.

Lk 11:14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled.

Lk 11:15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,”

Lk 11:16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.

The crowd kept demanding a sign from Jesus to authenticate His claims that He was sent from God and in fact, the Son of God.

Their demand was really two-fold.  They wanted Jesus to give them a sign to prove that His power to cast out evil spirits came from God and not from Satan.  Can you see how evil this is?  They had concluded wrongly that all the miracles Jesus had done…Feeding the 5000, walking on water, healing the sick, the deaf, the mute, the lame, and the dead, all happened through the power of Satan, not through the power of God.  This is probably the pinnacle of evil and sin.  They saw the Son of God perform a miracle and they gave Satan credit.

Jesus had reasoned with this crowd.  He tried to explain that this is impossible because every kingdom that is divided will fall.  He said why would Satan cast out demons?  His explanation fell on deaf ears.

They had seen the miracles for themselves, with their own eyes and their conclusion was not to glorify God but, in a sense, glorify Satan.  Their eyes are not healthy.

Please, hear God’s Word…

Lk 11:29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.

Lk 11:30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.

Lk 11:31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Lk 11:32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Lk 11:33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

Lk 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

Lk 11:35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.

Lk 11:36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

May our eyes see the unseen Christ and give Him glory, Amen

1. The Last Sign

Lk 11:29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.

Lk 11:30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.

Here’s Israel, a nation who has been characterized by God as hardhearted and stubborn.  They’re lack of faith in the Son of God shows where their allegiance lies.  They would rather work their way to heaven than trust and obey Jesus Christ.

Time and time again Jesus gave them signs.  He accomplished things in their sight that only God could do.  Only God can stretch out His hand and rebuke the wind and waves and immediately there were calm waters.  Only God can raise the dead and heal with a touch.  Jesus gave them sufficient proof that He was who He said He was.  What sort of sign would have been enough for them?  Jesus is finished performing miracles for unbelievers.  The time has come to call them what they truly are.

Luke tells us that the crowds were getting bigger and bigger and as Jesus made His assessment of this crowd, the bigger it grew the more evil it became.  It grew so big and so evil that He declared, This generation is an evil generation.

They were evil because what should have brought to life faith within them only brought unbelief.  They all saw the miracles with their own eyes but they deduced that Satan was behind them.  Jesus taught in the power of God and accomplished miracles in the power of God.  The miracles were to substantiate His teaching.  These people weren’t asking for a sign to believe but were asking for some sign to prove Jesus wasn’t empowered by Satan.  This is blasphemy.  When one gives Satan credit for the work of God, one is guilty of blasphemy.

Jesus is finished with the miracles and signs…except one.

What was the one sign for these unbelieving Jews?  To discover the answer we’ll need to go to Matthew’s Gospel and then travel to the Old Testament.

Mt 12:39 But he 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.

Mt 12:40 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.

Do you remember the account of Jonah?  A great fish swallowed Jonah whole.  Jonah lay in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.   For Jonah this symbolized death.  Jonah did not actually die, however.  The fish would deposit him on the beach of Nineveh, exactly where God wanted him in the first place.

The great and final sign to all people is that Jesus Christ did die and He was in the tomb three days and three nights.  Jesus would be brought back to life.  The resurrection is the sign of Jonah.

This shows the mercy and grace of God.  Even this wicked and adulterous generation would be given one final all-important substantiating sign.  What they do with this final sign will determine where they spend eternity.  Will they believe even after they see Jesus alive and well after He died?  History proves that for the most part even if One is brought back to life, unbelievers will still not believe.

2. The Last Verdict

Lk 11:31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Lk 11:32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Jesus shows there are two witnesses that will be judges over the adulterous and evil people of Israel:

The Queen of the South-  We must acknowledge that this queen is a foreigner to Israel.  Jesus basically says that a gentile will be your judge when the final day comes.

1 Kgs 10:1 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

1 Kgs 10:2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind.

1 Kgs 10:3 And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.

1 Kgs 10:4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,

1 Kgs 10:5 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more breath in her.

1 Kgs 10:6 And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom,

1 Kgs 10:7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard.

1 Kgs 10:8 Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!

1 Kgs 10:9 Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.”

The Queen of Sheba traveled from the ends of the earth, literally, to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.  She, no doubt was asking questions concerning ruling and justice.  However, Solomon told her about his God.  In the midst of their conversation the Queen very quickly believed every word.  She was saved!

1 Kgs 10:7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard.

She saw and heard firsthand and believed everything Solomon told her.

The Men of Nineveh-

Lk 11:32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

These evil Ninevites heard the preaching of Jonah and immediately believed.  They put on sat cloth and ashes and repented very quickly when Jonah told them they were going to be destroyed because of their wickedness.

Jesus’ verdict is final for all who refuse to repent.

3. Our Response

Lk 11:33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

Lk 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

Lk 11:35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.

Lk 11:36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

The wicked and adulterous generation Jesus refers to saw more than any other people who ever existed.  Yet their eyes were not healthy.  Jesus uses a metaphor of people with diseased eyes.  He says, there is light being shown but their eyes cannot see it because either they are blind or diseased.  Because of their spiritual blindness, they are missing the Light of the World who is standing right in their midst.

Jesus warns us that we must be careful when we see the light of salvation and truth that we do not pay attention.

To turn a blind eye to the truth is to allow darkness to fill your soul.

Our response must be like the Queen of the South who made the trip and took the time to hear and see for herself Solomon’s God-given wisdom.  She immediately believed and responded by faith.

We must be like the Ninevites who heard the preaching of Jonah and very quickly repented and turned to God from their sin.

We must be people who when we read the account of Jesus in the Gospels believe every word and respond by faith.

When we read of the sign of Jonah, the Resurrection of our Lord we should melt with love for our Savior and give Him all the glory.

Are we a people who very quickly believe or are we always wanting God to prove things to us?  Are we followers based on the truths found in Scripture or are we always looking for some other sign or new revelation?

I pray our eyes and ears are healthy.  When we read and hear the truth of the Gospel, I pray we respond by faith.

 

 

 

 

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