We often do not realize the value of something until it is taken away from us. There are many things we take for granted.
The Jews do not realize how fortunate they are to see God’s works in Jesus. So Jesus reminds them of historical examples—how the Ninevites reformed at the preaching of Jonah and were thereby saved from impending destruction; how the Queen of the South traveled far only to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And now, right in front of them is someone greater than Jonah and greater than Solomon. But they pay no attention to him.
In his Letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul raises a similar point: how he turned to the Gentiles because many of his own people rejected his message, whereas the Gentiles embraced it and became members of God’s people. At times, it is the “outsiders” who teach us how lucky and favored we are.
Are there gifts given to us by God that we fail or refuse to recognize? Should we wait until they are taken away from us before we appreciate them?
Gospel • LUKE 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
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