Sign of the Prophet Jonas Matt. 12: 38-41 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
It is amazing that the scribes and Pharisees would ask for a sign after seeing so many miracles that Jesus performed. Jesus answered them by saying that he would give them one sign, the sign of the prophet Jonas. Why would he give them this sign?
Notice the similarities between Jesus and Jonah.
Both were sent to wicked people – Matthew 12:39 – the scribes and Pharisees were an evil and adulterous generation. In Jonah 1:2, God saw the wickedness of Nineveh.
Both preached the destruction of the city – Jon 3:4 – Jonah cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. In Matthew 22:7, 24:2, Jesus Christ prophesied the distraction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D.
Both were sacrificed to save others. Jesus died on the cross to save us. In Jonah 1:12, Jonah said “cast me forth into the sea.” Thereby he saved the lives of the other seafarers.
Both spent three nights and three days in hell. In Matt 12:40, Jesus said that he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Acts 2:27-31 shows us that he spent these three nights and days in hell. In Jonah 1:17-2:2, we see that Jonah, while his body was in the whale’s belly, spent time in hell.
Both were from Galilee. In 2 Kings 14:25 and Joshua 19:10-13, we see that Jonah was from Gath Hepher in Zebulon. Jesus Christ was originally from Nazareth in Matthew 4:12-16. When the Pharisees questioned Nicodemus in John 7:45-52, they said, “out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” And they were wrong. They forgot about Jonah. Jonah was the perfect sign for them.
Notice the disparities between Jesus and Jonah. In Matthew 12:41 Jesus Christ said a greater then Jonas is here.
Jonah spent three days and three nights in the whale’s belly for his own sin. Jesus Christ spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth for our sins.
In Jonah 1:3, Jonah ran from God. Jesus, on the other hand, came to this earth to do God‘s will.
In Jonah 1:5-6, Jonah slept through the storm but he could do nothing to stop it. Jesus slept through the storm and stopped it by his power.
In Jonah 1:9, Jonah feared God, the creator. Jesus Christ is God, the creator.
In Jonah 4:2-4, Jonah was angry for God‘s mercy. Jonah wanted to die because he was angry. Jesus Christ wanted to die because of his joy (Hebrews 12:2).
As Jesus said, “a greater than Jonas is here.”
Notice the different results of the preaching of Jesus and Jonas.
In Matthew 12:41, Jesus said they repented at the preaching of Jonas. Nineveh repented; Jerusalem rejected. After all of the miracles that Jesus did and after this very precise sign, it is amazing that the scribes and Pharisees rejected Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Jonah said in Jonah 2:8-9, “Salvation is of the Lord” and “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” The scribes and Pharisees forsook their own mercy when they forsook the salvation of Jesus Christ. Whatever you do, recognize that “a greater than Jonas is here” and that you need to repent of your wickedness and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.