The Sign of Jonah


Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday In The Twenty-Eight Week In Ordinary Time

Luke 11:29-32

Jesus’ anger is really seen in this passage towards the crowds who were gathered around him soon after the word spreads about Jesus casting our demon and they have been following him wherever he went.  

What made Jesus so angry?  The crowds – especially the ones who had heard about the miracles and signs that Jesus performed and never understood the message of Jesus’ works and teachings of love, repentance, reconciliation and relationships.  They did not even make attempts to change their ways of life and over and above they criticized him and started finding faults in him.  

Jesus compares the crowd to the people of Nineveh who were the worst of its kind where all injustices and crimes prevailed and later on listening to Jonah’s message, repented and changed their way of life and the Queen of Sheba who came from a far of land to hear the wisdom of Solomon.  Jesus says even these men and woman on the day of judgement will condemn this generation as they were worse than them.  Jesus was putting his point forward that these men did not know that even someone much greater than Jonah and Solomon was amidst them, the Word of God himself. 

The power of God’s word was seen in the mass conversion of the people of Nineveh and the people could not even imagine the power of Jesus Word.

Jesus also mentions that he would become the sign that Jonah became.  The people did not understand what Jesus meant was just like Jonah died in the belly of the fish and three days later was given life by God, similarly he too will remain in Sheol for three days and risen again on the third day. Even the apostles and disciples realised the significance of Jesus’ words after his resurrection.

Let us now reflect on our lives, are we still waiting to see a sign that would make our faith stronger or have we complete faith and trust to believe that Jesus is working in our lives for our good.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I don’t think that Jonah died in the fish’s belly. He prayed to Yahweh from it.

  2. Yes, according to popular reading of the text, Jonah is shown praying from the belly of the fish…
    But if we read the words of the prayer/psalm, we see that he is referring to his death
    2:1 “out of the belly of Sheol I cried”; Sheol for the Jews was the place they went to in their death…
    2:6 “yet you brought up my life from the Pit”; Pit here can only refer to death
    These words are poetic, and idiomatic, and ‘may be’, also referring to his state of death.

    Then there are scholars who say this book is a novel/comic, that means it is speaking truths in the same way that the Genesis pre-history speaks of truths (Genesis 1-3). In that case will the author not place more importance to Jonah’s coming to life from a water (abode of evil) death, compared to projecting Jonah’s survival under water for three days. If the latter is the right way of looking at it, then the prayer seems to be at odd with that understanding. In my opinion, this is earliest pre-figurement of the resurrection.

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