A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
Matthew 16: 4
Jesus often told people to repent. The word for repentance Greek, Metanoia, literally means a change of mind. This is more than a change of opinion but a whole different way of thinking.
Jonah was a man who wouldn’t listen to God. He was given a task but resisted it, even going to far as to charter a ship and flee the country. To get Jonah’s attention God turn to more drastic measures. Jonah was thrown overboard and swallowed by a fish. After 3 days in the fish he finally repented, he changed his mind. And so Jonah was spat on shore and went to do the task God had asked of him.
Change is hard. We are often stubborn and don’t want to lose what is familiar. It’s more convenient to carry on as we are, even if it’s harmful top ourselves our others. Sometimes to repent, to have a really big change, requires us to go through something intense (though hopefully nothing as dramatic as being swallowed by a fish). These are often really difficult times, but once we go through them we can emerge changed and better able to live the life God intends for us.
But the greatest change is the one Jesus did for us. Jesus gave his life on the cross and was buried a man murdered by the state. He was entombed for three days, but then emerged alive, the Risen King. Romans 4 tells us “By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life.” In Christ change is always possible
Pray: Risen Lord Jesus, I repent from all the things that keep me from experiencing the life, peace and love that you offer. Help me to change my mind and my heart so I can be more open to you, more caring for others and more in love with he created world.
Act: What thing have you been putting of doing? Maybe today is the day to make a change.