|Jonah's message, though solely speaking of the coming destruction of the city of Nineveh, was one that was ultimately intended to bring about the sincere repentance of its people toward יהוה. Indeed, Jonah complains to יהוה about this.
"But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed unto יהוה, and said, 'I pray you, O יהוה, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious El, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repent you of the evil. Therefore now, O יהוה, take, I beseech you, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.'" - Jonah 4:1-3 (ASV)
Jonah was well aware of the fact that if the city listened to יהוה's message through him and turned from their wicked ways that יהוה would forgive them and relent from his destructive intentions. Yeshua's message was the same.
"From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, 'Repent you; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" - Matthew 4:17 (ASV)
"Now after John was delivered up, Yeshua came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of Elohim, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim is at hand: repent you, and believe in the gospel.'" - Mark 1:14-15 (ASV)
But, did Yeshua's message come along with warnings of destruction as Jonah's did? Absolutely!
"And Yeshua went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. But he answered and said unto them, 'See you not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'" - Matthew 24:1-2 (ASV)
"And as he went forth out of the temple, one of his disciples said unto him, 'Teacher, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings!' And Yeshua said unto him, 'See you these great buildings? There shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down.'" - Mark 13:1-2 (ASV)
"And when he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which belong unto peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies shall cast up a bank about you, and compass you round, and keep you in on every side, and shall dash you to the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation.'" - Luke 19:41-44 (ASV)
"And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said, 'As for these things which you behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'" - Luke 21:5-6 (ASV)
These prophecies about the destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem are an essential part of the sign of Jonah. We will look more at how that applies below. But for now what is important is to see that the messages of Jonah and Yeshua are parallel to one another. Jonah preached destruction to Nineveh with repentance being the end goal and Yeshua preached repentance and prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. יהוה's message was the same: "Repent and I will relent from the destruction prophesied over you."
It is not only the messages themselves that are significant, however. The city of Nineveh, according to Jonah 3:3, was exceedingly large, a three days' journey across. This would mean that in order for יהוה's message through Jonah to be heard by everyone in the city he would have been preaching for three days. There is a very significant and often overlooked parallel to Yeshua's life in this as well.
Yeshua's public ministry began just before Passover in 27 CE.2 He was crucified on the day of Passover in 30 CE.3 If we apply the scriptural day-for-year method4 to this we find yet another parallel. Just as Jonah's ministry to Nineveh lasted for 3 days, Yeshua's ministry lasted 3 years.