How Will We Be Judged By The Gentiles Of The Past?
Wednesday of Week 1 in Lent
Jonah 3:1-10 & Lk. 11:29-32
Crowds were following Jesus and listening to His preaching but He seemed to be having no effect on them because they insisted on asking for some sign as proof of His identity. They had seen the miracles He had performed and heard His words of wisdom but still they were not convinced.
Jesus told them that the only sign He would give them was to remind them of two incidents in their history. The prophet Jonah preached to a gentile city, urging the people to reform their lives, which they did in sackcloth and ashes. Again the wisdom of Solomon was known far and wide, and a gentile queen travelled to hear what he had to say. Obviously these gentiles were more receptive to God's message than were the Jews of Jesus' time!
The Jewish people were proud of their history, and loved to recall great events and great people of the past. If Jesus' audience were prepared to admire and revere these two giants of their history, why could they not accept Him, a greater teacher than either of them? What more could He do for them? What more did they want? He was in their midst but their lives remained untouched and unchanged.
So Jesus told the Jews of His generation that a gentile queen and a gentile city would testify against them on the day of judgement. The gentiles had opened their minds to the truth and responded with their lives - two things the Jews were unwilling to do.
What about us? Will the Queen of the South, the people of Nineveh, and others like them stand in judgement against us? Our generation has no need to ask for signs because Jesus has given us the proof: He died for us on the Cross and rose from the dead as He said He would. Now He lives with us forever. Surely we should respond to His teaching even more readily than the citizens of Nineveh responded to Jonah?
Lord Jesus, let us try every day to repent of our failings and to follow You more closely, and not let Your teaching be wasted on us.