Luke 11:14-54, Proverbs 22:1-16


We do well to use our imaginations to make mental pictures of events described in scripture. This is true of past events, but today I invite readers to imagine Jesus' promised future judgement. When Jesus promises no sign but the sign of Jonah, he alerts his audience that both Jonah's Ninevite audience and the Queen of Sheba, who traveled great distance to see Solomon, will rise up to declare the wickedness of the Jesus' contemporaries for rejecting the Messiah. To envision this, we must imagine a greater number of people in one place than human history has ever, or will ever see, before this moment. At this great event, God will be at the center. As an aside, if you accuse me of letting my imagination run loose, I will accuse you of not taking Jesus literally enough. But seriously, I think it likely Jesus promises at the last judgement, before the throne, scepter, and gavel of God, peoples from all nations and times will make accusations against other for how they have refused to believe. Jesus' point is plain, Jonah and Solomon had nations willingly receive inferior messages and messengers to those being taught in Israel by Jesus and the apostles. Thus the nations will ask, “How could you?” Though Jesus is plainly talking about people in His day, we are those with the scriptures, the testimony of the church, and living on the right side of history, that is, after the cross and resurrection. To clearly imagine the final judgement, we should consider what other generations would say to us and our generation. Thankfully, the resurrection of Jesus validates, whatever is said in that final judgement, our final verdict can be “innocent” and “victorious.”