Matthew 12:38-42 / Luke 11:29-32…
The religious leaders were not sincerely looking to be convinced of the truth. They had already witnessed many miracles, and they had already made up their minds. They were determined not to believe in Jesus. They wanted their own personal miracle, but even then it was only pretense.
Jesus knows this and tells them that lesser signs had led to repentance. Lesser men had inspired faith. Even His greatest sign would not lead them to believe. If they can assign His previous works to the power of Satan, then they will not believe a new one. If hearts are hardened to Him, then it is not an issue of facts, truth, or reason; it is a matter of rebellion, defiance, unbelief.
Jesus reveals the heart of those who are supposedly seeking, but in truth are only playing the proud game. They want their own evidence; they place themselves as ultimate arbiter. They are in effect saying, “I’ll believe if He meets my terms”. But who is God in this equation? It is an insult and the height of hypocrisy to ask God to prove Himself in a way that suits us. This is the great problem of all humanity, they are their own god. They set up their idols according to their own desires.
The problem is not a love for truth and a lack of proof; it is a love of sin and a lack of submission. We have a tendency to believe that we can always evaluate everything that happens to us correctly. We trust our power to process situations. We are wise in our own eyes, which is a great delusion (Proverbs 3:7, 26:12 / Isaiah 5:21 / Romans 11:25, 12:16).
Jesus isn’t against giving signs; what He is against is demanding them as a ransom for our allegiance. We cannot dictate terms to God.