While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgmen the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generatio and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the eart to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
Jesus says to the crowd, “This generation is an evil generation.” The words seem appropriate to describe our world today. The brevity of conflict, a global pandemic, extremism driving political tension, a cancel culture mentality, and stress from isolation from our normal way of life leave us thirsting for a sign.
In the gospel, Jesus was emphatic that “no sign will be given” and refers the crowd to the story of Jonah. As the story goes, the Lord appeared to Jonah and instructed him to go to Nineveh to warn the citizens of their pending destruction. The city was lavish, enjoyed luxuries, and a self-over-community mentality. The citizens repented and gave up their luxuries and as word reached the king, he too gave up lavishes and ordered the community to fast and repent. The actions of the king and the citizens were seen by the Lord, and He refrained from destroying Nineveh.
Today, we live in a “me” world that thrives on instant gratification, luxuries, and social prominence like Nineveh. Jesus describes himself as the Jonah for this generation and his message is, “there is something greater than Jonah here.”
Are we listening?
Class of 1975