jonah: lessons in mercy
Jonah is way more than a fish story.
Jonah may well be the greatest NEGATIVE illustration in the entire Bible. The whole point of Jonah is to show us what not to do...or, better, what not to be like.
Jonah is about a people—the people of God—who had lost the heart of God. Jonah is about a people—the people of God—who had forgotten their role, their mission, and their purpose...the very reason that God had called them into existence. Put simply, Jonah is a wake up call to the people of God.
Jonah is a reminder that our God cannot be put in a box...that our God is bigger and stranger and more loving than we could ever have imagined...that our God cares about and wants to shower his grace and mercy and love on people from the entire world...even those whom the people of God might consider to be unworthy...even those the people of God might consider to be evil...even those that the people of God might consider to be their enemies.