Synopsis: If you were Jonah
- Run away from God's call to save your enemies.
- Cause a huge storm, and get thrown off a boat.
- Get swallowed by a big fish.
- Pray like mad, since you are sure you are dead, but really don't want to be.
- Get spit out by the big fish, and finally go where God sends you.
- Give God's message of salvation to your enemies, and have it accepted.
- Wait for God's destruction of your enemies.
- Get taught one more lesson by God about accepting other people into God's Kingdom.
If we don't get caught up in the big fish/whale argument, one big lesson to learn from Jonah is that God can, and will, save whomever God pleases. Our judgement of whether a person or a people are worthy of God's mercy has no impact on God's work, and indeed, God will save someone in spite of our protestations.
Jesus uses this illustration in today's Gospel: Matt. 12:38-42. God gave plenty of signs in the early days, Jesus' presence should be enough to prove his heritage. But people, like Jonah, don't really want to see thier enemies saved. We'd rather see our enemies take it in the jaw than give them the chance of a lifetime in Heaven.
Who are your enemies? Who would you rather see on the goat side of the fence, than in with the sheep? Don't risk the belly of the whale for a day's pleasure in retribution. Go with God and show mercy.