Monday, June 28, 2010

The greater Jonah

I am currently preparing for another go at preaching for Redeemer Church here in Omaha. I've chosen the last two chapters of the book of Jonah as my subject matter, and since my conclusion deals with the cross and Christ as the better prophet, I figured I would share it here. For those interested, my outline will be as follows:
  1. The Forgiven People (Nineveh)
  2. The Unforgiving Prophet (Jonah)
  3. The Forgiving Prophet (Jesus)
But before I go on, I must explain one thing so that no one feels I am playing fast and loose with my interpretation. Even though Jesus is not mentioned at the end of the book of Jonah, Jesus himself saw Jonah as a type (in the theological sense) of Christ and his resurrection. In Matthew 12:38-41 we read, "Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, 'Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.' He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. '"

And my conclusion:
Both prophets (Jonah and Jesus) knew that God was a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love. Both knew of God's love for the city and both called their cities (Nineveh and Jerusalem) to repentance. And then both went outside the city to await the wrath and judgment of God.

Both went outside the city but one went to condemn it, the other to save it. One called on God's wrath toward the guilty, the other called on God's forgiveness toward the guilty. One looked with self-righteousness upon the people and longed for them to meet death and judgment, the other looked with true righteousness upon the people and met death and judgment in their place. One would rather die than see the enemies of God's people forgiven, the other would rather die than see the enemies of God damned.
P.S. I am still early in the rough draft stage, so if anyone sees any points to compare/contrast, feel free to chime in! And if anyone is interested in the entire thing, I'm sure it would only take some minor edits to turn this into a mini-series of posts.

1 comment:

Plessey Mathews said...

Please please. Do post when it is nice and ready.