Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet – Part 3

Jonah 3-4

Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet – Part 3

Nowhere to Run to…

I. CATCHING up With our PROPHET on the RUN (Jonah 1-2)
A. REJECTS God’s CALL (Jonah 1:1-3)
B. ENDANGERS Himself and Others while in a SPIRITUAL SLUMBER (Jonah 1:3-15)
C. Refuses to REPENT but Agrees to OBEY (Jonah 2:8-10)

II. Jonah’s Successful PREACHING TOUR through Nineveh (Jonah 3)
A. A Word on WICKEDNESS (Jonah 1:2)
B. A FIVE Word SERMON (Jonah 3:4)
C. The Prophet’s IRONIC Word PLAY (Jonah 3:4,8-10)

III. God Gives Jonah an OBJECT LESSON (Jonah 4)
A. Jonah Raises CAIN (Jonah 1:3, 4:1,4,5; Gen. 4)
B. God Raises a PLANT (Jonah 4:5-9)
C. God Raises His CONCERN (Jonah 4:10-11)

IV. A WORLD of Jonahs
A. God COMFORTS the AFFLICTED… and AFFLICTS the COMFORTABLE (Ps. 18:27, Ps. 119; Hebrews 12:5; James 1:9-11)
B. “And who is my ENEMY? (Jonah 4:10-12; Luke 10:25-37)
C. A RETURN to EDEN (Jonah 1:3, 5, 9)

Questions for Further Reflection
1. Kid’s Question: What is the angriest you have been? What made you so angry? Who were you angry at or what were you angry about? How did things work out?
2. How has this reading of Jonah challenged your presuppositions about how the Bible works?
3. How do you feel about all the language surrounding wickedness, wrath, and judgment? Do you find it difficult to be balanced in your desire for justice and mercy?
4. When have you obeyed God by following the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law? What was the result?
5. Do you believe God has a sense of humour? Have you experienced that humour in anyway?
6. Do you find the parallels between Jonah and Cain convincing? Why or why not? How does this reading of Cain into the story transform the story for you?
7. How would asking the question, “Do you have any right to be angry?” change your behaviour when frustration comes your way?
8. How does the statement, “God comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable” sit with you? Where do you fall on this spectrum? What is God doing in your life?
9. Do you have any enemies? How does God feel about them?
10. What role does Jesus play in the way you view the world around you?