Everyone remembers Jonah and the big fish, but it’s the WHOLE story that’s of interest. And perhaps the sign Christ is talking about as the only sign to be given.
Jonah resents God’s Grace ad Favor being applied to his 'enemies. So he runs from his mission of delivering the Gospel to Nineveh and is swallowed up by death and spit out to live again - i.e. the resurrection - the sign Christ was talking about.
The ‘resurrected’ Jonah returns to his mission - delivers the message of God’s Grace to the people of Nineveh and they are saved in response to hearing His Grace - as direct a message as can be.
Yet Jonah remains resentful of God’s Grace and His universal salvation of Jonah’s enemies. I call this the typical ‘religious’ reaction, a reaction that, of itself, seems universal as well, whether one is Christian, Muslim or Jew - all enemies are God’s enemies.
The WHOLE story ends with Jonah sitting under a scorching sun, shaded by a stick of a tree (his own dried up, miserable ‘gospel’), in abject bitterness and resentment at what God has done. And God leaves him there to pout until (I suppose) he remembers that he, too, was saved by Grace. Was God torturing Jonah, who CHOSE to be there? No way - Jonah could have found shade under THE Gospel - but chose his own…
It’s a divine comedy in some ways. How stubborn can one be without drawing a laugh or a snicker AT human stubbornness). Snicker at your own peril. Jonah was a human being like you.
I’m not one to beat an analogy to death, but this one is almost irresistible. Everyone will be salted by fire - so says my Lord - call it a scorching, mind-baking sun for Jonah - but fire nonetheless. All will be saved by God’s Grace and the Gospel - even the most stubborn religious hypocrite - who must be the worst among men - and the longest to sit under the ‘burning sun’ and repenting - and this was one of God’s ‘messengers’!
The Book of Jonah is a powerful testament to the comedic foibles of mankind in rejecting the universal quality of His Grace. Let every comedic knee bow… The resurrected will not hold resentment - only gratitude from every fiber of their resurrected body…when they finally kneel. Otherwise, sit and stew - God is much more patient than words can express. Love is like that. Meanwhile, heaven laughs - it’s a party after all!