When you hear the name Jonah, most people immediately think about a big fish. The biblical story of Jonah and the big fish has been told for thousands of years, but unfortunately we too often remember Jonah, the fish, and the storm rather than the God in control of it all. Many people assume this story is some sort of legend or myth or even an allegory of some sorts, but it is none of the above. This is a real story about God’s loving pursuit of both a pagan city and a wayward prophet. It’s a story that contrasts God’s consistency throughout all time with Jonah’s inconsistency. It’s a story that shows us that God is sovereign and in control of all things. It’s a story that shows us what great lengths God has gone to show us his grace, mercy, and steadfast love. Ultimately, it’s a story that shows us that salvation belongs to the Lord. Jonah was not willing to make God’s salvation known to his enemies in Nineveh, but thankfully Jesus wasn’t so selfish. Jesus was perfectly faithful to God and his mission to seek and save the lost. He was sent from his throne in heaven to a pagan place full of enemies of God. He was sent to live the life we couldn’t live and die the death that we deserve. He was sent to accomplish our salvation and make salvation known to all nations and he did it perfectly.
The story of Jonah is not simply a legend about a great fish. It’s a story that shows us who God really is and how much we truly need him to save us from ourselves and our sin.
Bible Reading Plan
We will be reading other minor prophets along with Jonah with this reading plan. See how Nahum also is sent by God to speak to Ninevah, and how Daniel remains faithful to God even when the country around him does not! We will have a chance to read through the gospel of Mark twice in this series. We encourage you not to do this alone, but to find someone who would be willing to read along with you! Use this as an opportunity to apply the DISCIPLER model we talked about in our last series.