Day 20

Jesus Is The True & Better Jonah

from the Advent 2015: Born Is The King reading plan


Jonah 1:1-17, Jonah 2:1-10, Mark 4:35-41, Colossians 1:15-20

When the Pharisees approached Jesus, seeking a miraculous sign as proof of His authority, He declared: “No sign will be given, except the sign of Jonah” (Matthew 12:39). His response was not meant to fulfill the Pharisee’s demand, but to rebuke their unbelief. The sign of Jonah was a sign of judgment against this “wicked and adulterous generation.”

Jonah’s reluctance to fulfill his calling is somewhat notorious. God’s call to Jonah couldn’t be clearer: “Get up! Go!” Jonah got up, but he went the opposite direction. This was intentional, premeditated disobedience. He didn’t panic and run for a bit, then come to his senses. He ran, kept running, planned out a trip that would help him run further, then followed through with it— all in order to flee “from the Lord’s presence” (Jonah 1:3).

So why did Jesus point to this sign before the Pharisees? Because Jesus came, like Jonah, to an unbelieving generation, and His message was the same: “those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love” (Jonah 2:8).

We are quick to turn to idols. When danger and fear creep in, we often run to our comforts rather than to Christ. Perhaps, like the Pharisees, we run to the checklist of our good behaviors. Or maybe, like Jonah, we hide out, napping, while others face the storm. Our idols are not often made of gold. They reside in our hearts. We all have them. We think they can save us from emptiness or judgment. But “salvation is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

Like Jonah, we live in a “wicked and adulterous” generation. But the problem is not simply the culture around us. We ourselves have Jonah hearts. Although Jonah eventually did preach the message of God, he also quickly returned to his old ways, sulking at the mercy God showed Nineveh, spiritually blind to the fact that this was the very same mercy God had shown to him when God sent the fish to save him from drowning.

Like Jonah, we are quick to forget the mercy we’ve been shown, and quick to take for granted the grace we have received.

The sign of Jonah reminds us that another Jonah has come, One who did not flee from the presence of God, but was One with the Father; One who was not blind to this world’s spiritual plight, but opened the eyes of the blind. Jesus entered the belly of the earth willingly. He put Himself in our place, cast over the side into the deep, bearing our curse. This true and better Jonah is slow to anger and abounding in compassion.

Jesus, the One greater than Jonah, is here. He has calmed the storm of God’s judgment with His own sacrifice. As our lives were fading away, He raised us up from the pit. Despite all of our unfaithfulness, He offers His faithful love. Though we, like Jonah, often turn to Him only when our idols have come up short, still He hears our cries for help, calms the storm, and returns us to Himself.

May we, like the people of Nineveh, be quick to heed the sign of Jonah and repent, running to His faithful love.

Written by Caleb Faires

Post Comments (15)

15 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Jonah"

  1. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Thankful for the grace I have been given and the mercy I have been shown, I will show obedience to my King.

  2. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Man is selfish, disobedient, forgetful, and ungrateful because we forget so easily of the grace we have been given and the mercy we have been shown.

  3. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    God has placed all supremacy in Jesus because of His dying on the cross and making peace with all things in Heaven and earth by His blood. Jesus is the true and greater everything because it all points to Him.

  4. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    God–through Jesus–never stops pursuing us because if He ever did we would immediately be destined for hell. Praise be to God!

  5. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Lord, help me be obedient to who You are and to never forget Your grace and mercy You show me daily so infinitely. May I see You as having supremacy over all things in both Heaven and earth and that I will praise You endlessly because of it.

  6. Howard K says:

    God love is unfailing and always there for us even when we are not aware or to busy to be thankful for his unfailing love. Even though we take God for granted and only come to him in times of need he is there for us. We need to be still and know that God is there all the time instead of taking it for granted.

  7. Howard K says:

    God thank you for always being there for me even when i tend to be self serving. I ask you to forgive my selfish ways and help me to live by you Will and not my will. In your Son’s name Jesus Christ.

  8. Howard K says:

    Shows us how we are more like Jonah and we need to be more like Jesus and follow the Will of God instead of our selfish will. God will show us the way as long as we stay focused on Him and Him only

  9. Howard K says:

    Man can be selfish and self deserving because we find ourselves in running to the Lord in time of need and we need to run to the Lord all the time when we are happy or sad thanking Him for all he has done for us.

  10. Howard K says:

    By making God a priority in my life and stop giving in to the distraction of the world.

  11. Chris C says:

    Trusting obedience to please my great Father

  12. Chris C says:

    Men are quick to forget God’s mercy and we take for granted God’s grace, like Jonah. I do this every day. I run to worldly comforts when trouble hits, rather than Christ. I treat God more like an employer, when He tells me He’s my good Father

  13. Chris C says:

    It is greater than I ever dared to hope. Jesus came and fulfilled everything that men fell short on so that I might live with the life that is truly life

  14. Chris C says:

    God is gracious and patient. He longs for us to obey because He has good things planned when we do. He forgives and rescues us when we don’t obey, but longs for us to trust His goodness

  15. Chris C says:

    Lord, I ask for eyes to see you as you really are-my good Father, not a harsh master who I can appease through my own efforts. Help me to live in trusting obedience to you that flows out of my response of delighting in being your son

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