Prepare to Listen. Be still and ask: Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Prayerfully Read Luke 11:29-32
29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, ‘This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! 32The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!
Some had demanded that Jesus give them a sign from heaven (16) as proof of his authenticity. Jesus refused to perform on demand, accused them of being an evil generation, and pointed to a sign from Israel’s history. Something, not someone, greater than Solomon, greater than Jonah is here, he said. Solomon’s legendary wisdom made him great, however, his personal life was a mess, ending in apostasy. Jonah didn’t go down in history as a great prophet. He ran away from God’s command and only reluctantly went to Nineveh after his encounter with a large fish. He then became bitter when Nineveh repented. There was nothing great about either man, but something from their life was greater. What was it?
Luke didn’t focus on Jonah’s three days in the fish, as we often do, but on Gentiles, both the queen of the South and the people of Nineveh. He warned that they “will rise at the judgement with the people of this generation and condemn them.” These Gentiles showed greater faith than the Jews of Jesus’ day. The Jews wanted certainty before believing, and that was their sin. Faith has more to do with uncertainty and doubt, than certainty and answers. In the biblical sense, as Tomáš Halík notes, faith “is not a matter of adopting specific opinions and ‘certainties’ but the courage to enter the domain of mystery,” and to continue to believe without knowing much. The example of the queen and the people of Nineveh who believed even though they saw no sign is the something greater.
What do you see as the something greater?
Respond to Jesus
Lord, give me the strength I need today to live with my uncertainties and doubts, trusting you despite the mystery. Amen.
Live obediently. Believe without signs and certainties.
 Halík, Tomáš. I Want You to Be. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press. 2016, p. 6.
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.