We're in Luke 11:29-36 today. How are your eyes? I'm talking about your spiritual eyes. How clearly are you seeing things in life? How clearly are you seeing yourself? Are you able to see your sin and your need? Are you locked in on the true wisdom? When you hear true, heavenly wisdom does it resonate with you? And how about Jesus and the Gospel? Are the eyes of your heart fixed on Him?

These are the kinds of questions that Jesus is pressing home in this passage with the story of Jonah, the story of Solomon, and the story of the lamp. And I want us to look together at three things that we learn out of this passage.



I. Jonah - The Grace of Repentance

Jesus, begins this way in v.32, "The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and something greater than Jonah is here."

Then Jesus says, "You know, the prophet Jonah went to pagan, heathen Ninevites, people that weren't from Israel, and he preached 'forty days and Nineveh will be destroyed' and you know what Nineveh did? They repented even though they didn't know much about God, and they'd never ever read a Bible. When a prophet of the Lord went and preached the Gospel, by the grace of the Holy Spirit they repented." And yet Jesus says to this generation, "You're an evil generation. I've preached to you and you've not repented."

There's a message for us in this passage. Don't play external games with God. Christianity is a religion of the heart and an unrepentant heart does not know God. I don't care how much about your Bible you know, how much about God you know. If you haven't seen your sin, if you haven't seen your need, and you haven't run to the Savior and begged Him for forgiveness, then you don't know God. You're under the same condemnation that Jesus is pronouncing on His generation. He looks up at this Bible-believing generation of people and He says, "You're an evil generation." Why? Not because they read their Bibles, not because they have a high view of their Bibles, but because they've read their Bible and they have a high view of the Bible and they haven't repented. They haven't embraced Christ. They haven't embraced the Gospel. This is a word for us.

And doesn't this remind us about the grace of repentance? The grace of repentance is no common gift. It's a unique blessing of God.



II. Solomon - The Wisdom of God

Look at v. 31 - "The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them." Why? "For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold something greater than Solomon is here." It's quite extraordinary, this queen of the South came to hear Solomon's wisdom. And what Jesus is saying is this - when she heard of Solomon there was something in her that resonated, she recognized the wisdom that he had to offer, and she longed, she thirsted for that wisdom.

sNow He contrasts her with the scribes and the Pharisees and the religious leaders and the others in the multitude who have heard wisdom incarnate, the Word incarnate, the Word made flesh - Jesus Himself. They haven't gone a long way to hear His wisdom, He's come a long way to reveal His wisdom. He's come to them and yet He's right in their midst and what? They don't pay Him any attention whatsoever. It's an indication, you see, that their hearts were darkened, that their eyes had not been enlightened by the true lamp.

And so let me ask you this - when you're under faithful Bible teaching do you resonate with it? You say, "Yes, I recognize that. I recognize how the Lord deals with their sin in the Scripture and I realize how the Scripture is dealing with my sin in the sermon. I recognize how the Lord exalts Himself in the Scripture and I see how the Lord is exalting Himself in my heart in the preaching of this Scripture." Do we thirst after that wisdom?



III. The Lamp - Spiritual Eyes to See The Gospel

Look at v. 33 - "No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket but on a stand so that those who enter may see the light."

In those days with no electricity, a house was lit at night by a lamp on a stand, and without that lamp on the stand you wouldn't have been able to find your way around because the room would be darkened.

In the illustration Jesus is the light and His point is this - "if you don't see Me, you won't be able to see anything. I'm the one that enlightens the human heart. I show you your sin, I show you your need, I show you the way of salvation, I show you the Gospel." And Jesus says, "Do you have the sight to see Me?

He also says something very interesting. If you look back in vv. 29-30 He says, when the crowds are increasing, "You're an evil generation." Because why? "It seeks for a sign." Now, Jesus has just in the company of these folks cast out a demon and their response was, "He must be doing this by Satan's power."

And what's Jesus' response? "You're not going to get a sign from Me except the sign of Jonah." Now what is the sign of Jonah? Jonah, when he tried to run away from Nineveh, ended up in the belly of a big fish for three days. On the third day he comes out of the watery grave of this sea beast and ends up on dry land alive and able to preach the Gospel. And what was that? A sign to Nineveh. As it were, God is saying, "Nineveh, I am sending someone to you back from the dead to preach repentance." And Jesus says to this generation, "Here's the only sign you're going to get - the sign of Jonah."

On the third day He rose again from the dead and He declared to them the Gospel. He accomplished salvation in His life, His death, His burial, and His resurrection. Can you hear the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4? That "He died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was buried and raised again on the third day according to the Scriptures so that we might be justified," so that we might be saved. And Jesus is saying, "That's the sign that I'm going to give this generation, the sign of Jonah. It's going to be My resurrection that is the sign because that's the Gospel itself, that by My life, My death, My burial, and My resurrection I bring to salvation all who trust in Me."

So Jesus is saying, "Do you have sight to see that sign? Do you have sight to see Jesus? Jesus is saying, "Don't play games with God. Make sure your eyes see Jesus and the Gospel because it's by that light and that light alone that your body is enlightened. Otherwise, there will be nothing but darkness in you, because apart from Me, you are still dead in trespasses and sins and your eyes are blind.

May God not let us play games. May He grant to us true repentance.