The Sign of Jonah
“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.”
Jesus talked about “the sign of the prophet Jonah” when He was being asked about signs. He said it was the only sign that would be given to that generation. He then proceeded to tell them what the sign meant. It refers to the fact that Jonah was inside the big fish for three days and three nights. Jesus related this to Himself by stating that, in the same way, the Son of Man (that is, Jesus) would be in the ground for three days and three nights and then would rise again.
By referring this matter to Himself, Jesus was also validating the truthfulness of the account of Jonah and the big fish in Jonah chapter 1. Yet many people prefer to think of the account of Jonah and the big fish as a fairy tale.
The Bible has many other examples of God using animals to do His will on different occasions. For example, He made Balaam’s donkey speak in order to get Balaam’s attention and to tell him exactly what he was to say. And He used various animal examples to Job in order to explain how Job had not grasped the purpose of God’s creation.
Jonah was taken by the creature to Ninevah – a gentile town, which repented for that time. It is fitting that Jonah was used as a type of the death and resurrection of Christ because it is by Christ’s death and resurrection that all peoples of the world are able to be reconciled to God.
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