Summary: This sermon lists several lessons to be learned from the life and ministry of the Old Testament prophet, Jonah.
LESSONS WE CAN LEARN
FROM THE PROPHET JONAH
Text: Matthew 12:38-41
"Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees
answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and
adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and
there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign
of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in
the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be
three days and three nights in the heart of the
The men of Ninevah shall rise up in the judgment
with this generation, and shall condemn it: be-
cause they repented at the preaching of Jonas;
and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here."
We can all learn a lot from the life and
experiences of the O.T. prophet, Jonah, if we
will only open up our hearts and minds.
I.First, WE CAN LEARN THAT GOD IS A HOLY GOD, WHO
Jonah 1:2b-"...cry out against it(Ninevah, capital
of Assyria), for their wickedness is come up be-
God cannot be indifferent to sin and still be a
holy and righteous God. He must punish evil, and
God knows about all of the evil that men do. He
is Omnipresent, and Omnicient(all knowing). No
one can do wrong without His knowledge. When we
sin, we sin against a God who sees us and knows
all about us. He sees deep within our hearts,
and knows who and what we really are.
Ninevah was the capital of Assyria, Israel’s bitt-
er enemy. Should they be spared, they might be
a threat to Jonah’s nation, and he knew it, so
he was being patriotic when he didn’t want to
go to Ninevah. But, he was not being godly, or
pleasing to God. God wanted them warned of their
impending and certain doom if they did not repent.
He is willing that none should perish, but that
all should come to repentance.
II.Secondly, WE CAN LEARN THAT WE CAN RUN, BUT CAN’T
HIDE FROM THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
Jonah 1:3-"But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish,
from the presence of the Lord..."
God found him, and caught up with this rebellious
prophet. No matter where we go, or where we try
to hide, God will find us.
Jonah was found to be the cause of the storm at
sea, so he was cast overboard, and swallowed by
a great fish. When we sin, it affects others.
It may be our family, or friends, or even people
that we do not know personally.
III.Thirdly, WE CAN LEARN HOW TO PRAY AND HOW TO OBEY.
You can bet your life that Jonah prayed more
earnestly and sincerely than he ever had before
in his life. He prayed and submitted his life
to God’s will. He was now willing to go to
Ninevah and say whatever God wanted him to say.
IV.Fourthly, WE CAN LEARN THAT GOD SOMETIMES GIVES US
A SECOND CHANCE TO DO HIS WILL.
Jonah 3:1-"And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah
the second time, saying,.."
The mission hadn’t changed, but Jonah had, at least
to some degree.
V.Fifthly, WE CAN LEARN THAT THE WORD OF GOD IS
QUICK AND POWERFUL, AND CAN CHANGE ANY LIFE.
If a message of condemnation, preached by an un-
sympathetic prophet could change a wicked people
like the people of Ninevah, it can change anyone.
Jonah 3:5-"So the people of Ninevah believed God,
and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from
the greatest of them even to the least of them."
Talk about a far-reaching, life-changing revival!
It touched everyone in that city, even the king.
It humbled them, and brought them to repentance.
And, God relented. He decided to spare them for
about 200 more years before Ninevah met its doom.
VI.Sixthly, WE CAN LEARN THAT GOD’S LOVE IS MUCH
GREATER THAN OUR LOVE.
There was no tear in Jonah’s eye as he told the
people of Ninevah of their certain destruction.
But, there was still rebellion in his heart at
at how loving and forgiving His God was.
Jonah 4:4-"Then saith the Lord, Doest thou well
to be angry?"
Why was Jonah so upset at God’s goodness? Be-
cause, what he really wanted was to see them
destroyed, forever, and never become a threat
to his own nation. God taught him a lesson
through the goard that we all need to learn.
God will do what is right, and best, and in
accordance with his holiness, righteouness, and
Invitation-God loves you, too, no matter who you
are, or what you have done. He wants to forgive
you, and He will, if you will only hear His word,