While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.Luke 11:29-32
The Sign of Jonah
The “sign of Jonah” in Luke is the preaching of the need for repentance by a prophet who comes from afar. Cf. Mt 12:38–42 (and see notes there) where the “sign of Jonah” is interpreted by Jesus as his death and resurrection.New American Bible (Revised Edition) footnote to Luke 11:29-32
An Outsider’s Perspective
In prophetic and figurative language, Jesus warned his people that their response to the Son of Man (a Messianic title from the Book of Daniel) fell short of the godless Ninevites who responded to Jonah, and the foreign queen of Sheba who sought the wisdom of Solomon. Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to wake up the complacent. Invoking the awe of the Gentiles put the Messianic promise into sharp relief.
The men of Nineveh and the queen of the south
Confirmed the sign of Jonah from the fish’s mouth.