The sign of Jonah!
Scripture reading for April 5th: Luke 11:14-36
Jesus’ ministry was marked by supernatural power. He was a man of prayer who sought God for instructions each day and then walked out what God showed Him to do. He did not play to the crowd, doing miraculous signs just to please those who watched. He wasn’t into popularity or fame, but instead was solely focused on His Father’s will.
There were those who were skeptical of Jesus’ spiritual power to cast out demons. After the miraculous deliverance of a mute man, some accused Him of casting out these devils by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Still others wanted to see more signs and the crowds grew in anticipation of a greater show of power. (Luke 11:14-16) “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.” “ (Luke 11:29-30)
Jesus did not take the popular approach and perform some more miracles for these skeptical people. He gave them a word picture from the Scriptures about one of their prophets, Jonah, who was running from God and His purpose for his life. A great storm came upon the boat as he fled and the result was Jonah thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. (Jonah 2:14-17) Jonah spent three days and nights in the belly of that fish before being vomited out on the shores of Nineveh. The Ninevites repented at his preaching and were spared disaster. (Jonah 3:4-10) (Matthew 12:39-41)
The major sign Jesus would give these skeptical people was His own death, burial, and resurrection. On the third day He would rise from the dead and His resurrection would proclaim He was a greater prophet than Jonah. These people would be judged for their rejection of His message of repentance. “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here.” (Luke 11:32)
Be careful about seeking more signs that Jesus is Messiah. Believe the grand sign, Jesus Christ alive from the dead after three days! His death and resurrection prove His power and declare He is the Son of God! (Romans 1:4)