In Matthew’s version of the Sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:38-42), the words of Jesus were directed at the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who were demanding a miraculous sign from him. They had fixed upon their minds the belief that the Messiah would be a conquering hero who would overthrow the Romans and make Israel a world superpower once again. They were not expecting the son of a carpenter who talked of a kingdom that was not of this world.
Their own expectations of the Messiah blinded them to the truth. Do we also harbor personal expectations of life, blinding us to the Lord’s wonderful plan in our lives?
As Jesus scolded the Pharisees for their wrong notions and hard-headedness, he was also giving them a clue on how mankind would be redeemed. “The Sign of Jonah” is none other than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as the prophet Jonah was swallowed by a big fish, spending three days and three nights in its belly, Jesus would also spend three days and three nights in the grave. And just as Jonah came out of the fish and drew the Ninevites to repentance, so would our Lord rise from the grave and draw the Church to himself.
Do you sometimes doubt whether God sees or even cares about your troubles? Are you demanding for some kind of miracle from God? Then all you have to do is look to the Sign of Jonah – our resurrected Lord himself. He is our proof that God is mighty and faithful to His promises.