As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, "This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation." (Luke 11:29, 30)
The ancient city of Nineveh was one of the most important cultural centers in the ancient world. Nineveh was a prominent metropolis known for its pursuit of the arts and higher education, as well as, its great prosperity. The people of this great city built large parks, a huge botanical garden and even a zoo. Their royal library contained an estimated 10,000 volumes engraved on tables of clay.
But Nineveh was also an exceeding wicked city; The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittal saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." (Jonah 1:1; 2) After trying to run away from God (never a good idea), being thrown into the sea, and spending three very unpleasant days in the stomach of a great fish, Jonah finally went to Nineveh to warn the people of coming judgment. The Ninevites repented of their wickedness, believed in God and they were saved from God's judgment; When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. (Jonah 3:10)
We can't help but see many obvious comparisons between ancient Nineveh and the United States of America today. What the Lord Jesus Christ said to the Jewish religious leaders, should be a warning to America today; "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here." (Luke 11:32). That "something" is, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ.
As Jonah reluctantly, but finally did, we must also warn of coming judgment and proclaim the saving gospel of Christ Jesus to an ungodly and wicked people. We who know Christ have been given Spiritual light and that light is the Lord Jesus Christ; "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. (Luke 11:33) Let your light shine and keep proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen. Maranatha!