Jonah is a sign that points us to Christ and calls us to godly repentance that leads to life.
Scripture: Jonah 1:17; Luke 11:29-32; Matt. 12:38-42
- Jonah is a sign that points us to Christ and calls us to repentance.
- 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.
- Jonah’s sign is also one of repentance, for the Ninevites repented at his preaching (cf. Luke 11:29-32; Matt 12:38-42).
- At Pentecost, Peter (Simon, son of Jonah) who called on the people to repent and be baptized (cf. Acts 2.37-38).
- It was God who appointed the fish to swallow Jonah, and God protected Jonah’s life.
- The creature that swallowed Jonah may have been Leviathan, a mighty sea monster.
- As God controlled the storm, so He appointed the “fish” to save Jonah from the sea.
- Inside the fish, Jonah feels himself to be in Hades, the realm of death.
- 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.
- From the pit Jonah remembered the Lord and prayed to return to God’s presence.
- In God’s providence, Jonah is brought to repentance. This changed man then goes to preach repentance to Nineveh.
- 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).
- Like Jonah, our repentance requires confession of our individual sins.
- In baptism, we renounce our sins, dying to sin and rising to new life. Christ takes our sin and gives us mercy.
- Walking in the way of repentance is lifelong.
- We are to practice calm, quick, and godly repentance.
- Repent in the good times of life, not only in the storm.
- Do not delay repentance. Living in sin can destroy us slowly.
- 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).
- Worldly grief leads to death; godly grief leads to life (2 Cor. 7:10).
- Pray Psalm 51 to learn what godly repentance is.
- 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.
- Accept the free offer of life, and turn to Christ (Rom 6:23).
- What is the sign of Jonah? How does it point to Christ?
- How do the gospel accounts reference Jonah?
- Why would God choose to rescue Jonah via a fish’s belly?
- How does baptism symbolize repentance and new life?
- Distinguish between worldly and godly grief (2 Cor 7:10).
- What are the characteristics of biblical prayers of repentance?
- How can we cultivate ongoing godly repentance?