The Sign of the Fish
Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
For the past seven weeks we have been looking through the Old Testament and “stepping back” to see Jesus. In this final week of the Pixelated series, we looked at a famous prophet named Jonah.
If you’re familiar with the story of Jonah, you know God tells him to go to the city of Ninevah and preach to the Ninevites. Jonah resists this, immediately fleeing in the opposite direction on a boat. God causes a great storm and through a series of events, Jonah gets thrown overboard and a large fish swallows him whole! After three days and three nights, the fish vomits Jonah onto the shore. At this point, Jonah decides it would be best to listen to God, and he proceeds to Ninevah.
What does this all have to do with Jesus? In the New Testament, we see Jesus directly reference this story. In Matthew 12, the Pharisees and teachers of the law ask for a sign from Jesus. But He rebukes them, saying that they’ll only get the “sign of Jonah.” What does this mean exactly? Jesus explains in verse 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.”
Jesus is foreshadowing his burial and resurrection from the dead here – saying that this is the only sign they truly need, yet the Pharisees wanted more. The sad thing is, they had just seen Jesus perform a miracle by driving a demon out of an afflicted man, but the Pharisees refused the evidence, saying that Jesus was using the power of Satan to drive out demons. It was hard for them to truly see Jesus because they were always demanding more.
Have you ever experienced this? Have you ever found yourself demanding something from God before you choose to follow him? Maybe you’ve asked Him to speak to you audibly. Maybe you’ve made an ultimatum with God, saying you won’t follow Him until He heals somebody first. Or maybe you’ve just asked for more money; success; status before obeying. But it is hard to see Jesus when you keep demanding more. What is holding you back from seeing Jesus?
At the end of the service, the whole congregation participated in a really cool element to close out the series. We were all given a Post-it and asked to write down some way that God has shown up in our lives. After that, we all put the sticky notes onto large boards. We did this because it can be tempting to think that Jesus isn’t revealing Himself to us, but when looking at the boards, it’s undeniable that He is alive and working through us in big ways – even if sometimes it looks pixelated. Watch for pictures of the boards this next week on our Facebook page!
Verses and quotes from the sermon:
Jonah 1:8-12, 17;2 Peter 3:9; Jonah 2:10; Jonah 3:1-3a; Matthew 12:22-24, 38-41; 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4; John 6:26, 36
“You want to know how you’re doing in your faith? Watch how you treat people who creep you out.” Bob Goff
Big idea: It’s hard to see Jesus when you keep demanding more.
You Move – Central Music
Oceans – Hillsong Music
When You Walk Into the Room – Jesus Culture
Thank God – EastLake Music