The Sign of Jonah

By David Robinson / June 8, 2014

Series Jonah and the Word of the Lord

Context Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic Person Of Christ

Scripture Jonah 1:17; Luke 11:29-32; Matt 12:38-42

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Scripture:  Jonah 1:17; Luke 11:29-32; Matt. 12:38-42

Sermon Notes:

  1. Jonah is a sign that points us to Christ and calls us to repentance.
  2. Jonah’s descent into the belly of a whale is a prophetic type of Christ, who was 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb.
  3. Jonah’s sign is also one of repentance, for the Ninevites repented at his preaching (cf. Luke 11:29-32; Matt 12:38-42). 
  4. At Pentecost, Peter (Simon, son of Jonah) who called on the people to repent and be baptized (cf. Acts 2.37-38).
  5. It was God who appointed the fish to swallow Jonah, and God protected Jonah’s life.
  6. The creature that swallowed Jonah may have been Leviathan, a mighty sea monster.
  7. As God controlled the storm, so He appointed the “fish” to save Jonah from the sea.
  8. Inside the fish, Jonah feels himself to be in Hades, the realm of death.
  9. Jonah felt himself to be “away from the presence of the Lord.”  He got what he wanted, as we often do when we disobey God.
  10. From the pit Jonah remembered the Lord and prayed to return to God’s presence. 
  11. In God’s providence, Jonah is brought to repentance.  This changed man then goes to preach repentance to Nineveh.
  12. God raised up Christ from the pit of death, breaking death’s power and granting Christ the keys of death and Hades (Acts 2:23-24; Rev 1:17-18).
  13. Like Jonah, our repentance requires confession of our individual sins.
  14. In baptism, we renounce our sins, dying to sin and rising to new life.  Christ takes our sin and gives us mercy.
  15. Walking in the way of repentance is lifelong.
  16. We are to practice calm, quick, and godly repentance.
  17. Repent in the good times of life, not only in the storm.
  18. Do not delay repentance. Living in sin can destroy us slowly.
  19. We must pray the Psalms of repentance regularly, so that we may learn to repent with a godly grief that leads to life (Psalm 6, 32, 38, 51; Daniel 9; Nehemiah 9; Ezra 9).
  20. Worldly grief leads to death; godly grief leads to life (2 Cor. 7:10).
  21. Pray Psalm 51 to learn what godly repentance is.
  22. The call to repentance is first to entrust our lives to the Saviour that He might clear our sin debt, and then to repent daily of sin in our lives.
  23. Accept the free offer of life, and turn to Christ (Rom 6:23).

Application Questions

  1. What is the sign of Jonah? How does it point to Christ?
  2. How do the gospel accounts reference Jonah?
  3. Why would God choose to rescue Jonah via a fish’s belly?
  4. How does baptism symbolize repentance and new life?
  5. Distinguish between worldly and godly grief (2 Cor 7:10).
  6. What are the characteristics of biblical prayers of repentance?
  7. How can we cultivate ongoing godly repentance?

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