“There is something greater than Jonah here”

Things don’t change much over the generations. As we see in Luke 11:29-32, there is one power greater than those who are obstinate.

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Everywhere, people look for signs from God.

There is a hurricane devastating Haiti, the Bahamas, Florida and along the eastern coast of the United States, and voices claim it is a sign from God, retribution for the evil deeds of man.

No, says Jesus, “no sign will be given it.”

Men look for signs of the apocalypse foretold in Revelations and even try to force God’s hand by bringing on division and revolution.

“This generation is an evil generation.”

No, says Jesus, “no sign will be given…except the sign of Jonah.”

What was the sign of Jonah? God sent Jonah to warn the Ninevites that unless they repented they would be destroyed. Jonah didn’t want to warn the Ninevites, who were the most brutal of Israel’s enemies. He even ran away from God, which is how he ended up in the belly of a whale. The whale spit out Jonah before the Ninevites and he delivered God’s message. And you know what? The Ninevites repented. Now there was a sign! And no hurricanes, no division, no revolution. No forcing God’s hand — in fact, just the opposite, God forced Jonah’s hand.

“Men of God” preach repentance but like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, their voices are hollow. Their purpose is vain. They gather riches as the sow discord. They twist the Word of God to their own purpose. It is an evil generation.

People, we have to stop looking for signs and trying to bring on destruction, and we must instead listen to Jesus, for he is greater than Jonah. Jesus brings on love. Jesus brings on peace. And when we repent through love of God and love of neighbor, Jesus us brings us eternal life.

There is something greater than Jonah here. Through love, Jesus overpowers the evil generation.

 

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