Be A Sign

Jonah_Under_the_Gourd_Vine,_280-290_AD,_Late_Roman,_Asia_Minor,_marble_-_Cleveland_Museum_of_Art_-_DSC08339
The Sign of Jonah (JSTOR.ORG)

The rejection of God’s plan is the “sign of Jonah” 

The most popular scene in early Christian art is Jonah reclining naked under a gourd.  Rarely, do the early Christians picture Jonah preaching (cf.  Narkiss, Bezalel. “The Sign of Jonah.” Gesta 18, no. 1 (1979): 63-76. doi:10.2307/766792.)

Even though Jonah’s “obedience” produces wildly successful results,  the early Christian painters emphasized not the revival but Jonah’s shame (cf. Jonah 4). The early Church was highlighting this spiritual principle:  “whenever someone rejects God’s plan,  sin naturally follows”.

Jesus said,  “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah?”    Commentators see Jesus’ three days in the tomb as the sign and a warning to Jesus’ audience of the impending doom if they refuse Jesus’ message.

The sign of Jonah is what happens to leaders and a nation who abandon God.

In the Old Testament, God uses violent Assyrians to run roughshod over the Jews (cf. Habbakuk).  The object of God’s wrath becomes the rod of His wrath.   Jesus foresaw the horrific future of the Jews and its famed Herodic temple (cf.  Matthew 24:1-25:46).

The solution to the sign of Jonah is the prophetic witness/

Simeon prophesied to Mary:  “Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.”  Holiness divides the family and the nation.   Jesus promised, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.

In the midst of corruption, violence, and lies instead, don’t stay home. Be prophetic a sign like Jonah. 

 

 

Author: gbradepp

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