Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here.
We don’t tell biblical stories just to entertain. We can tell them to explain.
Most people I have met, regardless of their age, like the story of Jonah and the whale. We are intrigued by the actions of this man of God. We are captivated by how God would speak to a fish and a worm to get things done. We listen to the story and can repeat many of the details.
Knowing this, Jesus used that well-know event to talk about something less-well-known that was ahead on the horizon – his death and resurrection.
Jesus’ death and resurrection would prove that he had been telling the truth, and that he truly was the Son of God. It was the sign that sealed so many of his promises.
Many of the Jewish religious leaders didn’t believe, even when they saw this sign. We have the chance to believe that just like with Jonah and a whale, a cross and an empty tomb came to change us and the world.
God, let me read, believe, and live your Word today, as I follow the resurrected Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Amen.