Many people believe the historical Jesus, who lived 2,000 years ago, was the prophetic fulfillment of Jonah because it is said he was in the grave for three days and three nights. There are, however, many aspects found in the story of Jonah that provide multiple points of reference in the quest to identify the Man Who would fulfill those signs. The Man Whose life closely parallels multiple aspects of the life of Jonah was not born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. He was born in America on May 11, 1933.
One day, while Jesus was among the people, certain scribes and Pharisees asked him for a sign to which Jesus replied, “[a]n evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthews 12:39-40)
Jesus with one statement, gave the scribes, the Pharisees and the world Jonah as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man. Jesus did not offer any other prophet as a sign. Thus, a time would come when a Man would appear Who would be the prophetic fulfillment of Jonah and His presence would signal the Son of Man has come.
The prophetic fulfillment of Jonah cannot be properly identified simply by making such a declaration. A careful review of Jonah’s life and works as found in the scriptures, coupled with a detailed analysis of the life and works of another Man, would be the best way to undertake such a search for the One Who is the prophetic fulfillment of Jonah.