I preached the following sermon series across the years, taking on several issues in the book. Many issues are remaining to be preached. Jonah is a veritable treasure chest of lessons in living, revelations about the nature of God, and the plight of humankind. The Book of Jonah is also a history book. However, one experiences the book’s power through the adventures (and misadventures) of the prophet Jonah. This book doesn’t exactly make the clergy look good. All of creation responds in obedience, including pagan sailors and a heathen nation. But Jonah remains the sulking saint, the petulant prophet, and the curmudgeonly cleric who is unable to grasp the fullness of God’s grace. The ending is often considered an enigma. Look at it carefully. God’s creation is the canvas on which God paints strokes of grace and that lavishly.
The Book of Jonah has a powerful place in Scripture. The book is filled with miracles, supernatural phenomena that our Lord Jesus applied to His own ministry and life. The Book of Jonah is vital for interpreting the rest of the Holy Scripture. If one cannot believe that Goed would use a reluctant prophet to bring revival to an oppressive nation and to do so in an unforgettable journey replete with its own lessons, then one cannot fathom the Plan of Salvation, the free offer of grace based on Christ’s righteousness of life, and sacrifice on the cross. Indeed, to turn Jonah into a mere allegory for a covenant people unwilling to share the love they received from God with others is to misunderstand the very nature of God. This book provides the keys to understanding the coming of the most amazing event in cosmic history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Lord God, who breathed forth the Word that is Jonah, remove the blinders from our eyes to see—if not through—then, upon the reality of the thin veil between present consciousness in this life and the eternal realm that exists by Your power; Grant us to believe in Thee, O God, and that the inconceivable, and the incomprehensible may be received by faith in Thy Son our Savior, Jesus Christ; So, then, bless these messages to bring hope, healing, open hearts, and souls safe in the arms of Jesus when He comes again. Through Christ our Lord, I pray. Amen.