An Unlikely Mission Trip
There seems to be a bit of irony in the book of Jonah. In chapter 1, it is the pagan sailors, not Jonah, who show us what true fear of the Lord looks like. In chapter 3, the wicked, violent Ninevites believe God and turn from their sins after what may have been a very short message from a prophet with a checkered past. In our New Testament reading, Jesus points out the irony of the fact that the Jewish people, who saw themselves as more receptive to God’s Word than people like the Ninevites, do not believe Jesus and turn from their sins, even though Jesus is an infinitely more faithful and competent prophet than Jonah, which he will ultimately demonstrate by fulfilling the sign of Jonah in more miraculous way.