The story of Jonah is well known and one of the Old Testament accounts that makes it into most children’s Bibles and Sunday School teaching plans. It would be worth reading through the account as a whole (it’s only 4 short chapters in length) and seeing where the above verse fits in to the story.
In summary, Jonah was told by God to go and preach to the people of Nineveh and call them to repentance. Jonah did not like this idea and so headed off on a ship in the opposite direction. God caused a fierce storm to arise, resulting in Jonah being thrown overboard to save the ship and crew. ‘And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights’ (1:17). Jonah cried out to God from his underwater whale-cavern. God heard his prayer and he was spewed back onto dry land. He then headed off to Nineveh and preached the message God had given him. All the people of the city repented and turned to God. Wow!
In Matthew 12 the scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign. He replies by saying that although their generation craves a sign, ‘no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’ (Matthew 12:39,40). Jesus goes on to say that the current generation should be reacting to His message in the same way that the Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah. Jesus’ generation had no excuse because the person they were hearing was One who is greater than Jonah.
The sign of Jonah:
Three days and three nights in the belly of a fish for Jonah resulted in a whole city being saved.
Three days and three nights in a tomb for Jesus resulted in the whole world being saved.
Further reading: Matthew 12:38-42
To think about:
The story of Jonah is about obedience. Have there been times when God has asked you to say or do something which you have ignored? How did that work out?
|Journal page by Bernice|
Please remember to go back to previous blog posts to see the creative responses that have been added. Click on the thumbnail pictures to view them.
Please share your creative response using the linky below. To use the linky click on 'Click here to enter'. You will need the URL from your own blog or from a photosharing website like Flickr. Alternatively share your response in the Facebook group.