Matthew 12:38-50

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Announces His Coming Death and Resurrection

Matthew 12:38-50

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Lesson Number 31

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord pronounced His death and resurrection.
  2. The Lord predicted future idolatry in Israel.
  3. The Lord proclaimed new family relationships.

Practical Application

  1. Watch for spiritual vacuums.


  1. How did the Scribes and Pharisees show their unbelief?
  2. What is the significance of the men of Nineveh and the queen of Sheba condemning the nation of Israel?
  3. What was the greater thing than Jonah or Solomon?
  4. When did the Lord begin to speak of His death and resurrection?
  5. How do you explain the apparent conflict regarding “three days and three nights”?
  6. Explain the Lord’s parable in Matthew 12:43-45.


  1. They asked the Lord to show them a sign, although for years they witnessed the miracles He had been performing.
  2. The Ninevites and the queen of Sheba were all Gentiles who believed the word of God. They will stand in judgment of the nation of Israel for not believing God’s word to her.
  3. The King and His offer of the kingdom.
  4. After He and His offer of the kingdom were rejected.
  5. The phrase “three days and three nights” was a Hebrew idiom used to include any part of a day or night. This would include part of Good Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Easter Sunday. This fits with the Lord’s prediction that He would rise the “third day”.
  6. The man is the nation of Israel. The unclean spirit represents idolatry. When Israel was taken to captivity in Babylon, she was purged of her problem with idolatry. Since that time there has been no idolatry in Judaism. But because the nation rejected her Messiah, in the future the nation will return to idolatry more than ever before. Israel will worship the Antichrist during the future Tribulation Period.


  1. In Matthew 12:49, the Lord indicated that becoming a part of the family of God is more important than blood relationships. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, He has called you His brother or sister! Think of the intimacy and value this implies. You are precious to God the Father, because you are His child.
  2. God has created people with a spiritual vacuum in their hearts that can only be filled by the Lord Jesus. Discuss the substitutes people turn to instead of seeking the Lord to fulfill them. People who are not in a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus are unfulfilled and unsatisfied. This makes them vulnerable to the enemy. Think of your co-workers and friends. How can you guide them to the only One who will satisfy?


  1. The Scribes and Pharisees showed their unbelief by asking for a sign, when Jesus had already been performing miracles among them. The Lord has surely worked in your life. Do you recognize the work He has done and thank Him for it, or are you showing unbelief by always looking for something bigger and better?

Key Verses

  • “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
  • “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50

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