October 19 – Luke 11:29-32

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Luke 11:29-32 – The Sign of Jonah

The crowd had demanded a sign from heaven to prove that Jesus was not of the devil. In these next two passages, he responds again to that demand.  By now, the crowd was growing and Jesus had something to tell them.

He called out the wicked among them for demanding a sign. That demand in Luke 11:16 was not simply a group of people hoping to give him an out, he knew it for what it was. Wickedness.

Jonah was sent to preach to the wicked of Nineveh, “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’”

Jesus had also been sent to save the Israelites. When they ask for a sign, he tells them that he … the Son of Man … is the sign.  The listeners in the crowd did not understand that he was also referring to the three days that Jonah spent in the whale as a precursor to the resurrection, but those who were reading Luke’s gospel would have immediately understood the reference.

When Jonah finally arrived to preach to the Ninevites, he did so as one who was alive because of a miracle. Nothing that he had done in the belly of the whale was important, only God’s hand kept him alive. That was the message he carried for the rest of his life.

Jesus knows more about these people than they do about themselves. He knows they will not receive his message. The Queen of the South came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. The men of Nineveh repented because of Jonah’s preaching. Both of these extreme cases will rise up in judgment of the wicked generation that was listening to Jesus and refusing to hear his words.

They are already in place, ready to judge, because one who is greater than Solomon and greater than Jonah is here and the people demand a sign to prove that he is not from Beelzebub.