Sunday, August 18, 2013


      Throughout the ages, people have sought after signs, in particular spectacular signs.The Lord Jesus made a very serious statement " an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign" (Matthew 12.39). Faith in the Lord Jesus needs no sign. Believing His Word because we believe who He is - Son of God - brings the greatest of blessings - eternal life. The Gospel writers do highlight many signs to verify the claims of Jesus to be the Son of God, but to keep asking for signs shows a lack of sincere faith.

        But then Jesus told the crowd that a sign would be given. This sign still divides humanity - the sign of Jonah. How shall we find compass directions to understand this significant sign?
   1  Read three times the whole discourse of the Lord  .... Luke 11.29-30
   2  Read the story of Jonah in the Old Testament.
       Read the story of the Queen of Sheba in the Old Testament.
        ( I will let you search for these, maybe use a concordance)
   3  Carefully note what the Jesus says in Luke 11, and check what He intends to be understood about Jonah before jumping to preconceived conclusions.
   4  Compare it with the other Gospel accounts, about the sign of Jonah (using marginal references?).
   5  Pray for the Holy Spirit of God to help you think this through.
   6  Eliminate from the story of Jonah story what does not link with Jesus eg running away, grumbling about God's mercy.
   7   Put together the points that do connect with the life of the Lord Jesus  eg Jonah commissioned, Jonah went down, Jonah comes up, Jonah preached etc
   Conclusion  - the 'sign of Jonah', in particular refers to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

     Though the last 2000 years, what has been the question of eternal significance?  -it  is this- 'is Jesus risen from the dead and alive today?'  This question still divides humanity.  Some believe, some mock.
      "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."    Romans 10.9

       But wait, I have missed something in the story. Jesus said that in the 'day of judgement', the men of Nineveh will stand as witnesses against those who had the greater privilege of listening to the person greater than Jonah - the Messiah Jesus. We must ponder this carefully to be sure of what we are reading and its implications for us. Does this mean that others of less opportunity than us will testify against our lack of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord ? And when? - on Gods final judgement day?

      What about the queen of Sheba?  She went to great effort to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Jesus claims to be greater than Solomon, in particular His words of Divine wisdom.  What have we done with the teaching of Jesus?  - ignored it?  Discredit it?  misinterpret it for convenience?    or hear it and obey it.
The implications are serious and eternal!

      The Lord goes on in the discourse with an unusual twist. The light we let into our minds (greater than Solomon) controls the whole of our being. Paul understood this when he encouraged the Christians at Colossee  'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly'
 Using the figure of light , The Lord implies that His teaching must needs permeate our whole being to eliminate darkness.

     As He being the light, fills our being, we can then let our ' lights so shine'

J. McKee

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