- Jonah was the son of Amittai.
- He is from and a native of Gath Hepher, a village 3 miles northeast of Nazareth.
- The name Jonah means “Dove” or “pigeon.”
- Prophesying during Jeroboam II of Israel.
- He was the earliest prophet among the Minor Prophets.
- He was immediately followed by prophet Amos.
- He was the only prophet sent to preach to the Gentiles.
- Being fully aware of the oppression the Assyrian had brought to Israel over the years, Jonah was a hardcore nationalist.
- Jonah could not accept the fact that God would offer mercy to people of Nineveh who deserved severe judgment.
- He feared that showing mercy to Assyrians would give them an opportunity to oppress Israel.
Content: Even though this book canonized as prophetical, this is a different book.
- This does not have a prophecy that contains a message. So, the story itself is the message.
- So, this story contains the a great theological idea of all the OT that God loves all people and likes to extend mercy and forgiveness to them.
- The message to the people of Nineveh was CALL TO REPENTANCE AND A PROMISE OF MERCY if responded affirmatively.
1. We see the heart of God and the mission of God’s people.
- Blessing of God to the nations through God’s Chosen (Gen 12:3).
- John the Baptist acknowledged Jesus as the Savior of the world in John 1:29.
- John 3:16 projects Jesus as the Saviour of the world.
- The Church has been committed to preach the Gospel to all world (Mtt. 28:18-20).
- We understand from Matt 24:31, that the elect will be gathered from north, east, south, and west.
The Church, in its starting stage, struggled to accept and understand the heart of God. Until Peter’s vision in Acts 10:9-21, disciples were not reaching out to gentiles. God has committed the ministry and the message of reconciliation to the Church (2 Cor. 5:18, 19). Through the history of Church, after certain period of evangelization and expansion, it had become so confined within four walls and become hostile to non-Christians and opponents.
2. The intervening work of the Holy Spirit in His people’s lives. God did not leave Jonah when he refused to follow HIS guidance. The Spirit of God continued to intervene in Jonah’s life until he relented.
Seven Episodes in Jonah
(1) Jonah’s commissioning and flight.(1:1-3)
What will happen to Jonah?
(2) Jonah and the pagan sailors.(1:4-16)
How responsive are the pagan sailors?
(3) Jonah’s grateful prayer.(1:17-2:10)
How does Jonah respond to God’s grace toward him?
(4) Jonah’s recommissioning and compliance.(3:1-3a)
What will happen to the Ninevites?
(5) Jonah and the pagan Ninevites.(3:3b-10)
How responsive are the pagan Ninevites?
(6) Jonah’s angry prayer.(4:1-4)
How does Jonah respond to God’s grace toward others?
(7) Jonah’s lesson about compassion.(4:5-11)
“Should not I pity Nineveh…?”