It’s funny how some people will see a “sign” in just about anything and others can be totally oblivious to what the rest of us would call a “sign”. You have the Magoo type (like Mr. Magoo cartoons) who are so ‘blind’ that they just miss every single sign even if it’s right in front of them. Then you have the paranoid type who interpret EVERYTHING as a sign of something. If you can’t identify one of these people, you might be one.
Sometimes I read the of the signs of the coming Messiah in the Old Testament prophets and wonder how Magoo were the Jews who missed Jesus right in front of their face. Now sure, there had been the paranoid types for centuries pointing to everything possible as the coming Messiah and they had continued to be wrong. So it’s almost understandable how numb the Pharisees and Sadducees had become by the time Jesus arrives and starts completing all these signs.
You and I read the account of these things now and are typically shocked at how they missed some of these signs. But then I read a quote from Jesus and begin to wonder…. have we read some of these accounts as “signs” when they weren’t actually signs at all.
After Jesus had healed people, brought people from the dead, produced mass amounts of food and even controlled the weather… the Pharisees and Sadducees were still looking for “a sign”.
“And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”So he left them and departed.”
(Matt 16:1-4) (emphasis added)
Jesus said the only sign for this “evil and adulterous generation” would be the “sign of Jonah”. What did He mean? Us looking back can clearly see the death, burial and resurrection, but from their perspective… what did they know about Jonah?
- Jonah volunteered to be thrown to his death to save the rest of the ship.
- Jonah was swallowed and assumed dead and remained there for 3 days.
- Jonah came out of the fish/whale.
- Jonah continued his mission.
Despite all of the miracles Jesus performed, only THIS was the sign He referred to. Jesus would volunteer to die to save us. Jesus would be buried for 3 days in the tomb. Jesus would rise and He would continue is mission by giving His disciples their final marching orders.
You see, all the miracles He performed was temporary. Even the healings only healed a person for their lifetime. Not one of the miracles He performed in all His time on earth prior to the crucifixion would last into eternity. But the sign of Jonah, this would be the true sign showing who the Christ was, it would be the only part of His incredible story that really mattered.
Now we are the people of Nineveh. We are called to repent. We must head the warning and repent of our ways to be saved. Their only option of salvation was through Jonah and our only option of salvation is through Christ.
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