As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
Comment: The lady is indeed praising Mary in the most intimate terms for bearing such a son. She is really praising Jesus. Jesus’ statement doesn’t belittle or diminish her blessing but highlights the need for believing action in relation to Him and His teaching!
In fact He then points out how much his hearers are responsible in light of His being there – He is much wiser than Solomon; and for what He is going to show them – as Jonah ‘dead’ inside the whale rose to call Nineveh to repent, He, dead inside a tomb, will rise calling people to repentance and belief. People giving testimony against them at the Day of Judgement, if they do not listen to Him, include the Queen of Sheba and the Ninevehites! To His listeners the resurrection was not yet a reality but for us it is a past event!
Prayer: What is all this really saying to me? Help me to hear and respond appropriately.