Matthew 12:41-42 (The Men of Nineveh and The Queen of the South)

What do these verses teach about the reality of a future judgment?  Cf. Acts 17:31.  As a rule, do people today believe in and live their lives as if there will be a future judgment?  What effect does an understanding of future judgment have upon people’s lives?  Think: did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc… believe in a future judgment?  What is the essential nature to the gospel of a future judgment?

Why does Jesus say that the men of Nineveh would condemn that generation at the judgment?  What is the implication in regard to the scribes and Pharisees of His statement that the men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah?  Considering that Jesus spoke these words to the Pharisees who were the most evangelical, biblically sound people of the day, what does this teach us about the importance of true, heart-felt repentance to salvation, and the great danger of the false security that results from religious pretense?  Cf. Mat 3:7-9, Luk 13:23-28, Jer 7:1-15.  What was the “something greater than Jonah” that was there?  Hint: See Mat 12:28, Luk 4:18, and consider that the gender of the Greek word is neuter, as is the word for the Holy Spirit, by whom He cast out demons and with whom He was anointed to preach the gospel with even more power than Jonah preached to the Ninevites; cf. Mat 12:6 for a similar statement where Jesus was referring to the temple of the Holy Spirit He was building of living stones.

Why does Jesus say that the Queen of the South would condemn that evil and adulterous generation?  In light of the wisdom of Solomon that she came so far to hear, what was “the something greater than Solomon” that was there and that the religious leaders were not seeking out and indeed actively resisting?  Think: by what means does God impart wisdom?  See 1Co 2:6-11.  Who was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power so that the Spirit of wisdom and understanding would rest upon Him?  See Act 10:38, Isa 11:2.  Read John 3:34; if the Queen of the South came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, how much more would she have come to receive of that wisdom from Him who gives the Spirit without measure?

What is especially significant about “the men of Nineveh” and “the Queen of the South” to those religious Jews to whom Jesus was speaking, and to those Jews at the time of Matthew’s writing who were rejecting the gospel because it had gone forth and was being received by so many Gentiles?  What apologetic value would Jesus’ words have had for those to whom Matthew was writing who were in danger of rejecting Jesus as their Messiah because of the increased persecution by the unbelieving Jews as the gospel went forth to the Gentiles?

Do you think that it was only that generation living at the time of Jesus that the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South will rise up and condemn at the judgment, or do you think there might be other generations equally guilty, perhaps even our own?  See Mat 12:39 and think: how much more light do we have from our historical perspective and the complete counsel of all the word of God than was available even to those like the Pharisees who lived in Jesus day?  Cf. Heb 2:1-3a.

Besides being condemned in the day of judgment by the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South, in what two other ways did Jesus say those Pharisees who were opposing Him would be condemned in the day of judgment?  See Mat 12:27, 37.  What does this teach us about the perception that in the day of judgment it is only before God that we shall stand, and only His condemnation that we will receive?  What does it teach us about how all of the justifications we make for our sin in this world will hold up in the day of judgment in God’s court where all can see clearly in the presence of every generation of creation the horrible results of their sin and where even other generations and peoples can condemn us for our unbelief, compromise, and hard-heartedness?  In that day, what condemnation might await us from our own words, from our own sons or followers, and from past or even future generations, not to mention the condemnation from those who have directly suffered from our lies, our thefts, our deceit, our adulteries, our slanders and our murders, and not to mention the condemnation from God Himself for how our sins have personally offended Him who not only gave us clear commandments against such things but also gave us His only begotten Son to deliver us from them?  May God have mercy on our souls and grant us a true and sincere, heart-felt repentance from all of our sins.

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