“Analysis of Matthew 12:38-42,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
Dear ladies and gentlemen, my fellow readers, discerners and you who choose to engage in the use of your critical faculties and reject political code words, political hype, and all forms of media falsehoods and manipulation from the forces of commerce and politics which serve to make fools and fool us. I now ask you to accompany me on and bid and ask you to accompany me on another intellectual journey where we may be able to attain truth and facts and penetrate the darkness that engulfs and surrounds us all hiding what is the reality of what is happening and occurring.
Today I will attempt to analyze, interpret, and explain the meaning and thrust of a group of Jesus’s sayings found in the gospel of Matthew chapter 12, verses 38-42 as follows: “Then some of the scribes and pharisees said to him, ‘teacher we wish to see a sign from you,’ but he answered them, ‘an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days in the belly of the whale and three nights, so will be the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south will arise at the judgment of this generation and condemn it for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold something greater than Solomon is here.”
We have here a most complex and puzzling series of sayings of Jesus, the son of god, and I will attempt and seek to understand, interpret, and explain them. In this passage, a sign is sought from Jesus by the Jewish religious leaders of the day the scribes and Pharisees, but Jesus responds only an evil and adulterous generation needs to seek a sign. The issue Jesus raises here is putting god to the proof or, better put, playing a game with god. We should as human beings be about living a life of love and charity and not seeking signs and god need not be put to the test by providing useless signs. Jesus then tells his audience and Jonah being three days and three nights in the belly of the whale is the type of his death and resurrection and that his is the sign, and a spectacular sign for all believers. And then Jesus points out the importance of repentance and preaching and notes that the men of Nineveh heard the preaching of Jonah and repented and they will sit in judgment of the present generation and condemn it, even though they are gentiles and non-Jews and not of Israel. Finally, again Jesus says the queen of the south will be in judgment of this generation since she came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.
This passage and its content is extremely significant and important. Jesus here predicts and looks to his death and resurrection. Second, Jesus notes and points out that salvation is expanded beyond the house of Israel to the gentiles and all nations who hear the message and repent, whether the men of Nineveh or the queen of the south. Jesus once again is starting a new religion and new religious movement, unlimited and universal in its reach and scope based on those whoever they are hear the message and come.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now conclude this explanation and interpretation and hope within my limited human understanding I have given some light to the deepest words and thought of the eternal god, the savior and redeemer of us all, and am thankful for the privilege accorded me.
Where the words and thoughts of Christ are present, I approach seeking and comprehending with utmost humility and hesitation and urge all my readers to go back to the bible in Matthew and read and read and reflect upon the words of Christ.