A generation that wants a sign – Monday, 16th week in ordinary time -Matthew 12: 38-42

Like a well-constructed iced cake; hypocrisy comes layered with flattery and lies. The Pharisees and scribes could well conduct many such successful mater classes for they had perfected the art of hypocrisy.  The reality was that they had no love lost for Jesus even though they approached Him with honorific titles. Chapter twelve of Matthews Gospel is a well laid out expose of their web of deceit.

Jesus cuts to the chase and rips through the flattery of the Pharisees. They want a sign and before He turns down their ‘request’ He calls them out; “evil and adulterous.” Take a moment to let that sink in. Often we read the Gospels like a story book with some amount of detachment from the characters.  So for once, rather imagine yourself standing in the crowd when Jesus said that to the Pharisees.  There must have been a gasp of horror, He shamed the religious leaders in public.

Jesus does not mince words for He was no diplomat. He was the straight taking Son of God who came to do the will of His Father and He did it with great courage. Make no mistake; this tender and compassionate “Rabbi” had no qualms in standing up to a morally bankrupt establishment. No wonder the Pharisees and scribes set trap after trap to trip Him.

So what might simply be lost to us is the evil behind the intention of asking for a sign. They ask for something that they have already had ten of. Jesus in Chapter eight and nine has worked ten fantastic signs and yet they want another one.  Would the descent of the angels satisfy their need for proof? I doubt it! Their intention was not to see the wonder of God but to trap the Son of God.

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