March 23, 2022 – Wednesday
Matthew 12:41 NIV
41 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.
If you are not sure about what Jesus is speaking about, go back to the book of Jonah here and read. It’s a very short book, Jonah was a minor prophet. He ran from God as he did not want to preach to the Ninevites because they might repent and avoid God’s wrath.
However, even the king of Nineveh repented and issued a decree (see here) for his people to give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish. And When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Nineveh was considered to be one of the most evil nations of its time, yet when they repented (turned from their evil/sinful ways) God did indeed relent and did not destroy them as He had threatened.
Jesus was and is much greater than Jonah, but the Pharisees and their generation did not acknowledge this basic fact. Jesus went on to say in the next verse, The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here. This refers to the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon to see for herself his wealth and hear his great wisdom. She along with the Ninevites will rise up in judgment against this generation and condemn it.
Ellicott’s Commentary notes that the reasoning here, is parallel with that of the references to Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah in Matthew 11:21-24 [which we discussed yesterday, here], but with this difference, that there the reference was to what might have been, here to what actually had been. The repentance of the heathen, and their search after wisdom, with far poorer opportunities, would put to shame the slowness and unbelief of Israel.
But what of us and our generations? What of our slowness and unbelief when it comes to Jesus and what He has done for all of us? We have so much information about Him if we will but open our eyes and look. The Pharisees had knowledge of all the prophecies He was fulfilling yet ignored them. Today we have Bibles galore that testify to Him and His life. And we have books that testify to Him as well. Just to name a few, we have, The Case for Christ, Betrayed, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, and Mere Christianity. Plus here is a list of men who were converted while trying to disprove the Bible.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your amazing mercy and giving generation after generation the opportunity to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Despite all the efforts to suppress Your truth, it continues to come out in so many ways. Thank You once again. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton