Summary: The danger of not repenting is great
24. Who is Jesus?
February 13th, 2010
Last week we saw a showdown between Jesus and Beelzebub. Jesus cast a demon out a man and in response the religious leaders starting making wild accusations against Him. They could no longer deny Jesus power so they claim that Jesus’s power is Satanic. As you can imagine Jesus wasn’t too happy about this accusation and so the tension really starting to rise. One great thing about conflict is it always to draw attention. As Jesus is responding to this outlandish accusation crowds start to gather. In response to Jesus miracle there were two responses: one group accused Him of having demonic power. The other asked for more signs. Jesus dealt with the accusation against Him now He addresses the second group, the cowards who want more evidence.
Here in Luke 11:29 we get to see how Jesus feels about the people who are always asking for more evidence. Here is a hint: He doesn’t like them. As these crowds start gathering Jesus just lays into them with this really strong criticism.
Lk 11:29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Lk 11:30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a little verification but this is not an innocent request. The purpose of miracles is to validate Jesus identity. Ideally we shouldn’t need them. Jesus message should be enough to prove to us that He is the Son of God. He is the creator of the world, as His creation we should recognize Him. Jesus performs miracles. These are signs that God gives us because our hearts are hard and without miraculous evidence we would not believe in Jesus.
After all Jesus has done these people are asking for more signs. How clueless can you get? He is the Son of God, the creator, the almighty who has out of His great love for us stepped into human history to restore us to the relationship with God that we lost. He came to suffer and die for us. He is taking responsibility for our sins so that by His death we might have life. He shouldn’t have to prove Himself to us.
Jesus just performed a miracle and the crowd immediately responds by asking for a sign. Jesus says why? You accused me of being Satanic because I cast out a demon what sort of sign do you want? How many miracles is it going to take for you people to believe in me? You want a sign, I’ll give you one: Jonah.
Jonah is a funny dude. He’s like an angry little leprechaun. Jonah is a prophet from Israel who gets called by God to go to Nineveh which is the capital of Assyria. Nineveh was built by a man named Nimrod, and with a name like that who wouldn’t become a tyrant? Assyrians were similar to Babylonians only slightly more barbaric. They were a merciless and savage people. They would burn entire cities, they would burn children, sacrifice children, they had no qualms about selling their own children into slavery, they would cut off people’s hands and heads, staked people into the ground and left on display. They were nasty.
If that wasn’t enough Assyria was also prophesied to be the nation that would wipe out the tribes of Israel. So you can imagine Jonah would not be excited about this assignment. So he tries to run, he gets on a boat, God sends this perfect storm and since they don’t George Clooney they decide they have to throw Jonah overboard. Jonah becomes sea food and gets eaten by a fish. He’s the Biblical version of Aquaman. The fish spits him up on the shore of Nineveh. Being vomited out by a sea creature has to be a unique and humbling experience. Plus you know you’re never going to get that smell out.
Jonah doesn’t want to preach to Ninevah. He knows that if they don’t repent God will destroy them and his people will be saved. So he wants this city to be destroyed out sheer spite. If ever anyone wanted to fail a sermon it was Jonah. But the people of Nineveh heard the Word of God and they responded to it. The whole nation of people repented. These nasty, child sacrificing, murderous, barbarians knew the Word of God when they heard it, so God spared them.
This was a city of 120,000 people. God out of His love spared the city. He sent Jonah to rescue these lost people from themselves and Jonah was upset. Jonah didn’t want them to be saved. These were vial disgusting people but even so God cares about the lost. He wants to save everyone. There is never a point where we sin so much that God says: I just don’t want to save you anymore. No matter what you have done, no matter how guilty of ashamed of your past you may feel, you are not worse then the Ninevites. God delighted in saving them. God wants to share His love everyone. The greater the sinner, the more they can understand God’s love. Now don’t be stupid and sin so you can get more love from God but if you have some really bad stuff in your past you need to realize that God loves you and that Jesus died to take that sin away.