Luke 11:29-36 The Light Of Revelation And Redemption.
Jesus said that the only sign that would be given to an evil generation was the sign of the prophet Jonah (v. 29 Cf. Mt. 12:38-42). From what has come before, it seems clear that He is referring to unbelieving Jews here (Cf. I Cor. 1:22). This is a response to the question asked earlier, where they requested a sign (v. 16). In effect, Jesus own presence is a sign of the progress of revelation and redemptive history and its fulfillment (v. 30). It is suggested that there is a parallel with Jonah because he was three days in the belly of a whale, but it is more likely that it was the fact that Jonah was sent to a nation outside of Israel. Jonah was in the belly of a whale because he was reluctant to answer this call (Cf. 1:12). Likewise, the queen of Sheba (southern Arabia) traveled a great distance to hear Solomon speak, and now a greater than Solomon was here (v. 31 Cf. I Kgs. 10:1-9; II Chr. 9:1-8). Part of Jonah’s reluctance was that he feared that the Ninevites would repent, and they did. Because they did, the Ninevites would sit in judgment on unbelieving Israel in Jesus day (v. 32 Cf. Jonah 3).
What follows also seems to have some reference to Jonah. Jonah in effect wanted to put the light of the word of God and promise of redemption, “in a secret place under a basket” (v. 33). A lamp is put out into a room so that it can give light to the whole area (Cf. Mt. 6:22-24). This was in effect God’s plan in giving His word to the Israelite nation. However, this also comes down to personal individual trust and accountability. As Jesus said, the eye is the lamp of the body, and what it needs more than anything else, is the word of God (vv. 34-35 Cf. II Pet. 1:19). It was the word which Jonah was called to preach, and which the queen of Sheba travelled to hear. If we give due attention to this word, it will permeate our whole lives, and it will impact everything we think, say, and do (Cf. Mk. 4:21-25; Lk. 8:16-18; Eph. 5:8; I Th. 5:5). Part of this light is not being reluctant, like Jonah was, to take this light into the world. Just as Jesus is the light (Cf. Jn. 1:4, 9; 8:12; 12:35-36), we should shine as the “the light of the world” (Mt. 5:14-16). “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (Jn. 12:46).