Matthew 12:38-42, The Demand for a Sign

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“Those who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah will inherit the kingdom of God” (Harrington 10). Those who acknowledge Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament will be saved and be granted eternal life in Heaven. Those who reject him will be condemned. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches of the Kingdom of Heaven by placing “Jesus of Nazareth within the traditions of God’s chosen people and showing how this same Jesus burst the bonds of those traditions and brought them to fulfillment” (Harrington 7). One passage in specific that emphasizes this aspect of Matthew’s Gospel is Mt 12:38-42, The Demand for a Sign. In this passage, Matthew uses Jesus as a preacher to show him as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. He is a prophet greater…show more content…
Matthew shortened the miracles and lengthened the teachings, adding references to the Old Testament. Besides the reference to the Old Testament, Jesus did not “sigh deeply” in Matthew. This is human characteristic emphasized in Mark. However, Matthew’s Jesus stands as a strong, authoritative figure.
The Demand for a Sign is a passage familiar in both Matthew and Mark, but Matthew adjusts this story to make it his own. In the Gospel of Matthew, this passage holds four main points. The points exist as the following: Jesus is a teacher but is misunderstood; He is all good but rejected by his generation; He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament; and those who do not believe are condemned and not allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the beginning of the passage of The Demand for a Sign, the authorities say, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign” (Mt 12:38). From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Matthew, we understand Jesus as a teacher. “From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt: 4:17). Jesus was sent to Earth to teach the present generation of the Kingdom of God, and to give them eternal life. Matthew focuses on the role of Jesus as a teacher, but a reader should be aware of who uses this precise term. In Chapter 8, a Scribe approaches Jesus and says, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go” (8:19). In The Demand for a Sign, the Pharisees and

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