The sign of Jonah

There are so many Gentiles in our lives such as people from different color, race, religion, or background. Today, Jesus is calling us to love them and share with them God’s love and message of salvation. 

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells the crowd that no sign will be given to them except for the sign of Jonah.

“Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” — Luke 11:30

What is the sign of Jonah?

The most common understanding of the sign of Jonah is like how Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so would Jesus be in the heart of the earth when He died and resurrected on the third day. (Matthew 12:40)

But aside from the death and resurrection of Jesus, there are two other meanings of the sign of Jonah.

One is the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. 

“Jonah began his journey through the city, and when he had gone only a single day’s walk announcing, ‘Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’” — Jonah 3:4

During His ministry at around 30 AD, Jesus also preached a message of repentance. However, many of the people, especially the Pharisees and the scribes, did not listen to Him and even had Him killed. In 70 AD, the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed during the persecution of the Jews.

“Jesus left the temple area and was going away, when his disciples approached him to point out the temple buildings. He said to them in reply, ‘You see all these things, do you not? Amen, I say to you, there will not be left here a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.’” — Matthew 24:1-2

The other meaning of the sign of Jonah is that God sent Jesus to extend His love to the Gentiles like how He sent Jonah to extend His love to the Ninevites (who are also Gentiles).

“The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: ‘Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.’” — Jonah 3:1-2
“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.’” — Matthew 8:10-11

There are so many Gentiles in our lives such as people from different color, race, religion, or background. 

Today, Jesus is calling us to love them and share with them God’s love and message of salvation.