Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

February 17, 2016 / By: Mark Vangsgard

Jonah 3:1-10 and Luke 11:29-32

Today’s Old Testament reading is about Jonah entering Nineveh and telling the people they have forty days before the city would be destroyed.  Jonah's attitude was not that of gloom, instead he was looking forward to seeing God's wrath come down on them.

Jonah did not do what God asked by going away from Nineveh.   Jonah had a hunch that God was going to be merciful to the citizens of Nineveh and he didn't want this to happen.  Jonah wanted God's wrath to come down on them. Very similar to the son in the Prodigal Son who stayed with his father.  He did not want the father to forgive the other son.

In today’s New Testament reading, Jesus gave a stern warning to his generation when they demanded a sign from him. When the religious leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims he says in so many words that he is God's sign and that they need no further evidence from God other than his own person. The Ninevites recognized God's warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented.  Jonah was God's sign and his message was the message of God for the people of Nineveh.  Jesus on the other hand, is a sign of God to the world and confirmed his message with many miracles in preparation for the greatest sign of all — his resurrection.  Jesus, through the gift of his Holy Spirit, offers us freedom from sin and wisdom for our lives, if we listen to him as the sign of God.

Mark Vangsgard
Vice President for Business Affairs