Luke 11:30

ESV For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
NIV For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.
NASB For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
CSB For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
NLT What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God.
KJV For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

What does Luke 11:30 mean?

Jesus is criticizing lawyers and Pharisees who refuse miraculous evidence indicating He is the Messiah. Even though He has already done works specifically prophesied to be performed by the Messiah, they demand even more miracles. Jesus' signs are wonders no prophet or miracle worker before Him has done. He promises the religious leaders only one more sign: the "sign of Jonah" (Luke 11:29).

Jonah was an Old Testament prophet. Though other Old Testament prophets spoke about and to foreign nations, Jonah is the only writing Jewish prophet specifically, physically sent to a foreign land with the sole purpose of presenting God's message. God called Jonah to warn the Assyrian people that if they didn't repent of their infamous cruelty God would destroy them. Jonah wanted God to annihilate the Assyrians, so he took a ship and sailed in the opposite direction. God sent a storm, and Jonah told the crew to throw him overboard. Instead of drowning, Jonah found himself inside a large fish for three days and three nights (Jonah 1—2).

After the fish spewed Jonah out, God again told him to go to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. His task was to warn the people. It seems the story of his adventure had reached the Ninevites, and when he called for repentance, the king responded. The king declared a fast for both people and animals and ordered everyone to be covered in sackcloth. In addition, he commanded everyone to "turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands" (Jonah 3:8). In response, God withdrew His threat and didn't destroy them until they had returned to their cruelty. This happened nearly 200 years later as described by Nahum.

In Matthew's account, the "sign of Jonah" emphasizes the similarities between Jonah's stay in and release from the fish and Jesus' experience in the grave (Matthew 12:39–40). For Luke, the crucial facet is that God's message was preached and Gentiles who had nothing to do with the God of Israel responded with repentance and worship. This certainly happened when the gospel message spread among the Gentiles in Paul's ministry. Sadly, although the Ninevites, some of the most horrific people in history, responded to a reluctant prophet who merely walked around shouting for a day, the lawyers and Pharisees refuse to recognize Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in their own Scriptures.

The "Son of Man" is based on the prophecy in Daniel 7:13–14 and is a name Jesus often used when referring to Himself.
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