I have to admit, Jonah’s story is a favorite of mine. Why? Because he’s so much like me…he whines and complains when he doesn’t get his way, like a child, and like some adults I know (me). But God still uses him, and teaches him, and saves him, and never gives up on him. He also teaches Jonah a big lesson at the end of the book, involving a vine, a worm, and a massive overreaction on Jonah’s part (again like me) in which he is “angry enough to die.” Haven’t we all said something liket that in a moment of anger or frustration? Such a short book of the Bible, and yet so much to be learned from it!
From the LCMS website:
A singular prophet among the many in the Old Testament, Jonah the son of Amittai was born about an hour’s walk from the town of Nazareth. The focus of his prophetic ministry was the call to preach at Nineveh, the capital of pagan Assyria (Jonah 1:1). His reluctance to respond and God’s insistence that his call be heeded is the story of the book that bears Jonah’s name. Although the swallowing and disgorging of Jonah by the great fish is the most remembered detail of his life, it is addressed in only three verses of the book (1:17; 2:1, 10). Throughout the book, the important theme is how God deals compassionately sinners. Jonah’s three-day sojourn in the belly of the fish is mentioned by Jesus as a sign of his own death, burial, and resurrection (Mt. 12:39–41).