Sharing Our Faith Together

What Jonah Has To Say

by Stuart Malkin 16 June 2024

I am an avid watcher of a tv program called “The Repair Shop” which is where people take very old family related items in to specialists in wood, metal, leather, art etc, for repair. In many cases the history behind it is given but the repair is needed because someone in the family has been told not to do something and, lo and behold, they have disobeyed. I wonder how many can say I have always obeyed my parents or my children have always obeyed me, it’s the way one is brought up! I think not, as it is surely apart of the human psyche.

The story of Jonah and the big fish is one of the biblical stories that one was taught at an early age. Perhaps then it was the concept of a man in a fish and then being saved was its focus and not the man who disobeyed God.

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Reading Luke 11 v29 to 32 - The demand for a miracle
As the crowd gathered round Jesus, he went on to say ”how evil are the people today, they ask for a miracle, but none will be given them except the miracle of Jonah. In the same way that the prophet Jonah was a sign for the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this day. On Judgement Day the Queen of Sheba will stand up and accuse the people of today, because she travelled all the way from her country to listen to King Solomon’s wise teaching and I tell you there is something here greater than Solomon. On Judgement Day the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse you because they turned from their sins when they heard Jonah preach and I assure you that there is something here greater than Jonah!

What happened to Jonah was not about him but a large number of people that God was concerned about, the people of Nineveh, and how God wanted them to turn to him whilst they had time, turn from their sins and recognise the true God.

In the biblical reading from Luke, Jesus challenges the people who had gathered around him searching for many things. They had already heard him preach beyond any before, seen people heal, miracles carried out beyond their understanding. Then they asked for more miracles, and Jesus then talks about Jonah to help them understand what they are asking for. Judgment Day!

This was probably furthest from their minds when demanding a miracle, however, Jesus wanted to focus their minds on the reality of a message as they, the listeners, would know it and Jonah was a prophet, albeit a minor one. He had a message to proclaim and reluctantly he was the one to one deliver it. Jesus had the same message but related it to modern day. The sad thing was the listeners did not realise they were listening to the Son of God. The message is still the same.

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Help us Lord to keep our ears open to the words of the Jesus so we are prepared for Judgment Day. Amen