“This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.” Luke 11:29Read Luke 11:29-32
This all started with the Pharisees demanding a sign (an attesting miracle) from Jesus. There had been significant signs shown up to this point, but the antagonists demanded, “right here, right now.” This irritated Jesus no doubt, with him calling them a “wicked generation.” They’d get no sign from him, only a lecture about the “sign of Jonah,” and a reference to the queen of Sheba’s visit to see Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-10).
As to the sign, the entire city of Nineveh turned to God on Jonah’s reluctant sermon. Was that not enough? And how about the Queen of the South and her “very large retinue?” She heard and witnessed all the wisdom and works of Solomon and was drained of all skepticism (“there was no more spirit in her”). Weren’t these signs enough to convince supposed experts in the scriptures, certainly in the context of the “kingdom of God” being in their very midst?
In the end both the pagan Ninevites and queen were keen enough to see God’s hand and respond in humility. You would expect the same of the Pharisees.
Some takeaways. First, if Jesus acknowledged Jonah, his story is not a fairytale. Second, sufficient signs at that time had been shown to the Pharisees upon which to believe. Third, Jesus used examples in scripture to prove his case. We have those same scriptures and more (the New Testament) in our hands. Fourth, when we demand a sign from God we put him to the test. While Gideon did this repeatedly, his requests were not made to prove God wrong! The queen came 1,200 miles to test Solomon. Obviously, the Pharisees were attempting to corner Jesus. Not a good idea.
Finally, what sign am I demanding before I trust Him? For those of us who are naturally-born skeptics, we should heed this word!