SIGN OF THE TIMES
Lord, as I follow You into the future, I commit myself to keep my eyes on You.
Read Luke 11:29–36
The Sign of Jonah
29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.
The Lamp of the Body
33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy,[b] your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
a Luke 11:34 The Greek for healthy here implies generous.
b Luke 11:34 The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectJesus is God’s sign to the world, and the sign of my discipleship is daily repentance—turning towards Christ and following him.
Jesus never shies away from confrontation, bringing things out into the open that are unspoken (11:17; 9:47). It’s easy to imagine him as a kind of dreamy, reticent Messiah, whereas he often forces issues into the public space. He never seems to shut down difficult subjects, whatever the cost. This demand for a sign surfaced in 11:16 and it comes again in verse 29. The miracles and parables are not enough; the people want more.
Jesus’ response is rich again in Old Testament imagery, but it’s the reference to Jonah that’s fascinating. We expect the reference to land on the three days in the whale’s belly, taking us then to the cross and resurrection. But that’s not how it works here. Jonah, the reluctant missionary, brings good news to his ethnic enemies. In the same way, Jesus is implying here that his work will take him beyond the Jewish people and towards the Gentiles. God is looking for repentance wherever he can find it. The “generation” who heard these words was blind to the sign now facing it.
What does it mean to be “full of light” and for a lamp to shine its light in us?
Lord, I am thankful that You are steadfast in an ever-changing world.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.