Jonah has to be the most reluctant of prophets. He not only gave some lame excuses, like we saw Moses did last week, he just turns and runs in the opposite direction. However, we will see how running from God can land you in one whale of a mess ( this what I did there?). Jonah found that resistance to God’s call is futile.
What I like about Jonah’s calling is not how he obeys God, but how God responds to his disobedience. Jonah is different from all the other prophets. As Eugene Peterson writes, ‘He is not a hero too high and mighty for us to identify with – he doesn’t do anything great.’ In fact, he runs away. The book starts with Jonah disobeying God and ends with him complaining about what God has done. Even with his whining and although he suffered from depression, God still works within and around Jonah’s weaknesses to accomplish his purposes.
This is a story of God’s great love that gives both Jonah and Nineveh a second chance. It’s about a love that will not let us go, a love that forgives, and a love that extends to all creation. It is also a story that makes me wonder if the church is trying to hide from God’s true calling today.
Come and see,