Matthew 13:38-42 - HELP, CONFUSED!


"38 Then some of the scribe and Pharisees said to him, "'Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."' 39 He said to them in reply,"'And evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. 40 Just and Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three night. 41 at the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah here. 42 At the judgement the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here."

Okay, I had a few questions about this. Are you not supposed to ask God for a sign? Like is that a smack in the face to Him? Soooo, come judgement day all the people who ask God for a sign will be condemned? If so, is this because they are tempting God and not trusting in Him? Who is Solomon? O_o Am I taking most of this out of context?


I believe it depends on the type of sign. For example, if you say "God, make it rain tomorrow in the Sahara Dessert or I will not believe in you," I don't think He would be too pleased. However, if you pray for guidance such as "Lord, I am confused about whether or not to take this new job. Please help me to find the right path," He would give you what you need to know. God sees into our souls and knows are intentions. As for your question about judgment day, no one knows the definite critera for how God will judge us. Once again, I believe He will look at the intentions behind our pleadings for signs. Your next quesetion on tempting, not trusting, goes back (again) to intentions. I have faith in God but sometimes I have trouble seeing what He wants from me. It's perfectly okay to ask for help. Finally, Solomon was the son of David and the third king of Israel. He was known for his wisdom.

I hope that helps you out some!


God knows when we ask in search for truth, but often we have signs done in our lives that we often take for granted or we forget over time. God will give signs if we ask, but not always, actually rarely. I've had God give me a few signs before when I've been desperate and humble, never if I've been prideful or just testing Him.


Remember when Satan was tempting Jesus in the desert and says to Him, “if you’re the Son of God, turn this rock into a loaf of bread.” And Jesus responds, “Thou shalt not put the Lord God to the test.”

I don’t try to take signs too seriously and dont ask for them or look for them either. But I am certainly open to them if they happen before me.
I agree with the former comments, that it is better to ask the Lord for guidance than to ask for a clear cut sign. Faith is a journey on a thin rocky road, but if we ask the Lord for help, he surely will! How can we grow spiritually if God shows us what to do all the time? He respects our free will and gives us a choice to grow if we choose to follow Him.

John 20:29, Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


Very nice guys! Thanks a lot! That really helped!

God Bless!


I think there’s a very clear difference here. What the scribes were doing was demanding a sign as proof of his divinity. On the flip side, I’ll sometimes ask God for a sign when in prayer as a way of me knowing his will. So, the difference is one party is asking for a sign as proof of his divinity, while the other party asks for a sign not as proof of his divinity, but as a way for us to know more clearly what God wants us to do in accordance with his will. The lack of a sign is not lack of proof of his divinity, for we already accept and believe his divinity. The lack of a sign would merely mean God has something else in mind.


That makes sense! I was thinking that to an extent. I just couldn’t put all my thoughts together.

Thank you so much!

God Bless!


Glad I could be of some help! It doesn’t happen very often since there are people here much smarter than me! :smiley:


[quote="Baseballguy, post:1, topic:326637"]
Are you not supposed to ask God for a sign? Like is that a smack in the face to Him?


No...:o We are not supposed to tempt God, which is not always the intention when we ask for a sign.

2119 Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. ...] The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.

When the intention is to test God, we are going against the first commandment.

But when the intention is pure, then the asking for a sign is not sinful.

Was not Christ, our Lord and God, who told us:

Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needs. Therefore I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

[T]ruly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ...] If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full.

And was not Isaiah who said, full of the Spirit:

People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

The intention here is what truly matters...for we must always bear in mind two important principles:

  • "your Father knows what you need before you ask him"
  • "seek first the kingdom of God and these things will be given in addition"

To test God is to question these two, as if God did not know what we need or did not listen, or as if we had some sort of "right" to receive signs and God was our servant. This is the prayer of those who said: "if he is Christ, let him come down the cross", or of Herod who wanted signs because he was Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea and Jesus (in theory a subject to his rule) was led in chains to him. How much different from the loving father whom, after the gentle reprimand of the Lord ("unless you see signs and wonders, you don't believe") simply and honestly replied: "Lord, come down before my son dies", as if echoing another loving father who said: "I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief". Or how much different from the beloved Thomas who, hurt deeply in his heart, said: "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" much sadness must have populated that little one's heart, if the Lord in His loving kindness appeared to Thomas in His glory and told him: "Put in your finger here, and see my hands; and bring here your hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.", granting to Thomas two most high honors: the first one, to acknowledge Him openly as God, the second one, to be the instrument for blessing those "who will not see, yet will believe" - which includes you and me.


First I would like to make a correction, it is not Mt. 13:38-42. It is Mt. 12:38-42

The Pharrisees were well learned in the law. But they were not well learned in the Holy Scriptures. If they were they would know how the Prophets from Isaiah on anounced the coming of Jesus. Jonah was the sign who warned the Ninevites and Jesus is the sign as the Son of the Father in Heaven.
A good example to think about is the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They feel bad because they knew Jesus that Jesus was crucified. Jesus approchased them and ask what they were talking about. They said are you the only one who does not know what took place. Then Jesus began to explained the scriptures to them. Finaley at the end of the day they asked Jesus to stay with them. Then at the supper table they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
We today have the sign that is Jesus in the Eucharist. At the consicration the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus.


Thank you for this, I really appreciate it!

God Bless!


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