Mark could say here what John says early in his first chapter: "To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him. Any who did accept Him He empowered to become children of God..." And Jesus could say what He does in Matthew (12:39): "This is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah."
Jesus is talking to those nearest Him, and as Christians we qualify to be among them, yet we do not hear, really hear and embrace what He says. Jonah changed Nineveh with his words, which is what Jesus is referring to (it is only later that believers would see this as a reference to the Resurrection as well).
Does the "greater than Jonah" touch my heart and change it?
We might look at Jesus as a good man, a wise man, a great man, but do we see Him as the living God? The Holy of Holies Himself talking directly to me? I think that we really find it difficult to grasp that, to really get it into our heads and, with even more difficulty, into our hearts. The fact that Almighty God is lovingly face to face with me, in every way and at every moment, just seems to be something that I cannot fix my attention on for more than a moment at a time.
If I could just really open my eyes and ears and truly focus my attention, hold tight to His warm and serene presence! If I could only open myself to Him and hold myself so that His Word could penetrate me and change me!
It will happen, but only if I pray frequently and seriously, if I ask Him to change me, asking patiently, in hope, and with great longing and great faith. Then, and only then, can Jesus work great wonders in, with, and through me.
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