The Sign of Jonah

background

 Scripture

29 As the crowds were increasing, He began saying: “This generation is an evil generation. It demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. e 30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31 The queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and look—something greater than Solomon is here! 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation, and look—something greater than Jonah is here! Luke 11:29-32 HCSB

Observations

  1. This is building on verse 28 which was making the point those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed.
  2. Jesus spoke boldly and with conviction to large crowds.
  3. He was condemning the people for demanding proof rather than trusting Gods word.
  4. He used the stories of Jonah and the Queen of Sheba to make His point.
  5. He compared Israel who had been blessed by receiving Gods revelation and who had a personal relationship with God as His people to Nineveh who was an evil gentile nation.
  6. Nineveh responded to Jonah’s proclamation of God’s word with no signs, his word was enough to cause them to repent and seek God’s mercy.
  7. The Queen of Sheba sought wisdom at great expense and through great inconvenience from hearing of the wisdom.
  8. Israel had the wisdom of Christ brought to them and they still rejected it.

Applications

            Just as the Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s wisdom and sought after it I should seek wisdom from Gods word. She was blessed to have the opportunity to seek wisdom from the wisest man who had ever lived, and by the grace of place I enjoy this side of redemptive history I have access to the full revelation of God’s redemptive work available to me in scripture. I need not take it for granted but to be diligent in studying His word, and seeking His knowledge that I have access to.

            Just as Nineveh took Jonah at his word and didn’t require miracles or signs, God’s word should be enough for me. I need to trust and obey Him, and be humble as the Ninevites were in their repentance.

            Just as Jesus clearly spoke truth with conviction I need to boldly proclaim His truth, and the explicit gospel. I need to be careful not to fall in to the temptation to soften the blow as I teach larger groups or skip harder truths that are in scripture for fear of offending. The most loving thing I can do is have awkward conversations and speak tough messages because those conversations and messages change lives through the power of Christ.

Prayer
            O Lord, Creator and sustainer of the universe, thank you for revealing your self to me. Please empower me to take you at your word, and to seek after more of your wisdom that you have already revealed to me in scripture. Embolden me to proclaim your message with conviction and bless it to do your work in bringing the dead to life? Thank you for your grace and for the opportunity to join you in your work. Amen.