Life Begins With Repentance

As Jesus was teaching people about God (85), some teachers of the law and some of the Pharisees spoke up. “Teacher,” they said, “we want to see you do a miracle.”

Jesus exclaimed: “You ask me for a miracle? No! The only miracle you will be given is the miracle of the prophet Jonah. Just as Jonah spent three days and nights in the whale, I will spend three days and nights in the grave.

“On the day of judgment, the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse you, because they repented & turned from their sins when they heard Jonah preach.

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“I have been given greater authority than Jonah, yet you will not repent!

“On the day of judgment, the Queen of Sheba will stand up and accuse you, because she traveled all the way from her country to listen to King Solomon’s wise teaching.

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“I offer greater wisdom than Solomon, yet you will not repent!”

Then Jesus warned against trying to get right with God by human effort.  “When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it travels about looking for a place to rest. When it can’t find one, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So the evil spirit returns and finds the person seemingly clean & all fixed up. Then it brings seven worse spirits, and they all come & invade that person. And in the end, that person is in worse shape than he was at the beginning.

“This is what will happen to the evil people of this day – the people who trust themselves for deliverance from evil, instead of trusting God for deliverance from evil.”

While Jesus was still talking to the people, his mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside, asking to speak with him. One of the people there said to Jesus, “Look, your mother is standing outside with your brothers, and they want to speak with you.”

In response, Jesus again insisted that God’s family is defined by submission to the Holy Spirit, not by blood relations.  (In other words, from God’s point of view, our faith family is more important than our flesh family.)

Specifically, Jesus asked, “Who are my real family members?” Looking at the people sitting around him, he then answered his own question: “My real family members are right here. Those of you who do what God wants are the real members of my family & God’s family.”

 

(85) Matthew 12:38-50