Matthew 12:38-45

The Pharisees want to see Jesus do something powerful

38 Then some teachers of God's Law and some Pharisees said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we want to see you do something powerful. This will show us that God has really sent you.’

39 Jesus replied, ‘The people who are alive today are very bad. They do not obey God, but they want God to show them something powerful. But God will not do this for them. They will only see the same powerful thing that God did for his prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah stayed inside a big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will remain in the ground for three days and three nights. 41 When God judges everyone, the people who lived in Nineveh will be there. They will stand up and they will speak against you. They will show that the people who are alive today are bad. When Jonah spoke to the people in Nineveh long ago, they stopped doing bad things. But look! There is someone here now who is greater than Jonah was.

12:40We can read this story in Jonah 1:17. God sent Jonah to a city called Nineveh. Jonah said to the people in that city, ‘You must stop doing bad things. You must show God that you are sorry. And you must start to obey him.’

42 Also, the Queen of Sheba travelled a long way to meet King Solomon. She wanted to hear his wise words. When God judges everyone, she will stand up. She will speak against you who are alive today. She will show that you are bad people. She listened to King Solomon. But look! There is someone here now who is greater than Solomon was. But you are not listening to me.’

12:42We can read this story in 1 Kings 10:1-10.

43 Jesus then said, ‘When a bad spirit leaves a person, it travels through dry places. It looks for a new place to live. But maybe it does not find anywhere. 44 So it says to itself, “I will return to the place where I lived before.” Then it goes back to that person. It finds that the place is empty. Everything there is now good and clean. 45 So the bad spirit goes out and it brings back seven other spirits. They are even worse than itself. They all go into the person and they live there. Now the person's life is even worse than it was before. The same thing will happen to you bad people who are alive today.’

12:45A bad spirit can live in a person. Sometimes the Jewish leaders told a bad spirit to leave a person. It often came out, but later it went back to live inside the person again. Because the person did not have the Holy Spirit inside him, there was a place for bad spirits to live.