The Evangel, Jesus and Jonah (Man Overboard #4)

. 5 min read

Aug 2019, Christ Mountain Top
the Scripture, Psalm 16
Mark 1.9-11
Luke 11.27-36, Matthew 12.38-50
evangelist, how NOT to witness
evangelist, how NOT to pray
evangelist, how NOT to be happy
Jonah and Jesus
, using the insights of the early church fathers, who were
quite creative in reading Scripture with a laser focus on Jesus. In fact, the
Jonah story was the #1 Christian art work in the ancient church, even more than
the cross!
       AND, Jonah and Jesus, how Jesus talked
about Jonah. Matthew and Luke’s gospel report Jesus’ comment on Jonah as a
SIGN. Both of those passages have some shared themes in the context. So, we’re
going to look at those common themes:
·       The
·       The
·       The
·       The
Word Preached
Outsiders: Pagans repent, church people don’t
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 something greater than
Jonah is here.
             Matthew 12.41 and Luke 11.32

an impure spirit comes out of a person … seven other spirits more wicked than
itself. And the final condition of that person is worst than the first.

             Matthew 12.43-45 and also in Luke
11.24-26 (not read)
this, there is a sense of surprise, that the natural assumptions and
expectations we have are somehow overturned. Why wouldn’t God’s people be the
first to respond to God’s Word? But over and over in the story of Israel and
the church, it is outsiders who repent, outsiders who – if we are willing –
just may be able to lead us religious folks home.
       In addition, there is a sense of
judgment. The folks who should know, don’t. And the folks who have the light
fail to allow it to shine on their own lives.
when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then,
that the light within you is not darkness.
             Luke 11.34-35
was Jonah’s problem: The light within him was darkness.
ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve Prophets, 132
is so heavy and onerous to bear as sin and disobedience. [what weighed down the
ship in the sea despite having cast the cargo overboard]
Is the condemnation of God’s people and the surprising
salvation of the outsiders directly connected?
I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of
my people….
       Romans 9.3
ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve Prophets, 130
Nineveh eventually goes on to eradicate Israel’s now “ten lost tribes”,] The
repentance of the [Ninevites] is the ruin of the Jews…. [Jonah] does not so
much envy the deliverance of Nineveh as will that his own country should not
Jonah’s story, this question of cost is speculative to some degree. That is,
the text itself does not address it directly. However, in Jesus’ story, our
salvation comes at the cost of his destruction. And we are invited to join in
his mission. What cost are we willing to pay?
ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve Prophets, 134
and the sailors in the storm]: Before the passion of Christ … the entire boat
of humanity, that is, the creation of the Lord, was in peril.
ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve Prophets, 140
Jonah went from the ship into the belly of the whale, so Christ went from the
tree into the tomb, or into the abyss of death. And as Jonah was sacrificed for
those endangered by the storm, so Christ was offered for those who are drowning
in the storm of this world.
cost are we willing to pay as we join Jesus in mission?
Creasy Dean
, “Love Made Me an Inventor” at Navigate:
1909, the blacksmith union sent out an appeal for more blacksmiths to join the
union. They were in decline, so every one needs to recruit one. They did see a
small increase in the next year. But within 10 years, the union was dead,
because of the Model T. The transportation industry changed.
       I teach at a seminary. I think that
seminaries are preparing blacksmiths better than ever. The problem is that the
industry is changing.
       How much of the church as we know it are
we willing to let go of in order to follow Jesus?
       There were blacksmiths who survived into
the new era. They became the first mechanics.
·       Jonah
himself by his preaching in particular (Luke 11.30, “as Jonah was a sign”)
·       Jonah’s
story as a type of death and resurrection: For as Jonah was three days and
three nights in the belly of a huge fish (sea monster), so the Son of Man will
be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12.40
this reason, as well as Jonah’s prayer from the “belly of Sheol” in Jonah 2,
interpreters from Cyril of Jerusalem to our own era have suggested that Jonah
himself may have died in the belly of the fish. (ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve
135 and – I think – J. Vernon McGee)
of Jerusalem, ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve Prophets, 135
when we study the story of Jonah the force of the resemblance becomes striking.
Jesus was sent to preach repentance. So was Jonah. … Jonah was cast into the
belly of a great fish, but Christ of his own will descended to the abode of the
invisible fish of death. He went down of his own will to make death disgorge
those it had swallowed up.
Word Preached: Connection to God is not based on biological inheritance but on
response to the Word of God
(as repenting at the
preaching of Jonah):
       Blessed is the mother who gave you birth
and nursed you
       Blessed rather are those who hear the
word of God and obey
             Luke 11.27-28
is my mother and who are my brothers? … For whoever does the will of my Father
in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
             Matthew 12.50
ACCS OT XIV, The Twelve Prophets, 139
was swallowed by the monster of the deep, in whose belly whole ships were
devoured, and after three days he was vomited out again safe and sound. … To
what faith do these notable events bear witness, if not to that which ought to
inspire in us the belief that they are proofs and documents of our own future and
our completed resurrection?
does it look like when we believe in “our own future and our completed
one of the traditional sites is in Nineveh (modern Mosul).
Over the traditional site of the burial of a Jewish prophet, a church, then
later a mosque were constructed. Though there is a book in the Koran named for
Jonah, the site was blown up by ISIS in 2014, and a then unknown 2,600 year old
Assyrian temple was found in the ruins. This ancient site still serves as a
reminder of Jonah’s message of God’s love for the whole world, for what Jerome
calls “the entire boat of humanity.”
, for the orphans of Burundi after ethnic cleansing (Kenda
Creasy Dean)
·       Every
day I improvise new life.
·       Love
overcoming the power of bitterness
·       Put
a swimming pool where she found many bodies so that the baptismal waters can
clean all the sin