“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
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 asks 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 sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Soloman, and see, something greater than Soloman is here.”
Back in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16) They being true prophets, as opposed to false ones. And I always assumed their fruits were their actions. But here it seems that our fruits are our words. Because, Jesus says, your words are a reflection of what is in your heart. A loving person won’t say hateful things, and a hateful person won’t say loving things. AND, Jesus says, on judgement day God will hold you accountable for your words. Why? Again, because your words reflect your heart.
In some ways Christians (and non-Christians) today are very like the Pharisees. We want a sign to give us faith! How many times do we hear someone say they would be willing to believe if God sent them a sign? In short, if they had proof!
But we shouldn’t need proof to have faith. Anyone can have faith in something proven. We need to be more. Besides, as Jesus pointed out, the people of Ninevah had faith in Jonah, and he was practically the worst prophet of all time! Surely Jesus is more Holy than Jonah. So faith in Him should be no problem.
But, if you absolutely NEED a sign, Jesus left us one. The biggest sign of all time. He sacrificed Himself for us, though He was blameless, was crucified, and after three days ROSE FROM THE DEAD! What more of a sign do you need? If Jesus wasn’t the Messiah, why would he have chosen to die for us? How would He have risen?
On a side note, I love the comparison between Jesus’s death and Jonah being eaten by a fish. It’s a comparison I would never have thought of on my own, but God was planning ahead. And I’m sure the Jews ate this comparison up. They love stuff like that.