Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. “Matthew 12:41
The book of Jonah with a man swallowed by a fish seems like a fictional kid’s tale, but Jesus acknowledged it as true. Nineveh was a city in Assyria, the superpower during the time of Prophet Jonah, son of Amittai. Jonah initially disobeyed God when he was told to go to Nineveh. He got on a ship to Tarshish and travelled in the opposite direction. God sent a storm and Jonah was thrown off the ship to calm the sea. Jonah was swallowed by a huge fish. He spent three days and three nights in the dark belly of the fish. He repented, cried out to God from the belly of the fish. The fish vomited Jonah alive on the seashore. To be alive in the belly of the fish for three days is a miracle. Then Jonah went to his enemy territory in response to God’s command the second time, and reluctantly preached to the Ninevites, that if they did not repent, the city will be destroyed in forty days. He did not give them any sign to prove that he was a prophet of God. They were receptive to his message and believed in God. The king and all the subjects of Nineveh repented, they fasted, wore sack clothes, sat in the dust. The animals also fasted. There was a national repentance. God had compassion on the repented people of Nineveh and did not destroy them.
Jesus, the Son of God is greater than Jonah. He did countless miracles. Jesus preached to the Israelites to repent, believe in Him and be saved. Many of them did not believe in Him nor repent and therefore will be judged. Those who believed in Him and repented were redeemed from the penalty of their sins. Jesus vicariously died on the cross for our sins. He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. As Jonah was in the belly of the fish, Jesus was in the heart of the earth for three days and nights. Jesus rose again for our justification.
: Heavenly Father, We come to you as living sacrifices, with our contrite hearts, we repent of our sins, forgive us as you forgave the people of Nineveh. We believe in Christ’s finished work on the cross on our behalf for our sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thought for the Day
”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. “1 John 1:9
Epiphany MTC, NY