Jonah, Jesus and the Gospel

On the very day that Jesus was raised from the dead, two dejected disciples made their way back home to Emmaus when Jesus covertly joined them on their walk and in their conversation.  When He asked about their conversation they confessed that their hope in Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah had collapsed with His crucifixion on the previous Friday.  With measured skepticism they rehearsed the reports of Jesus’ resurrection and concluded simply that His body was missing.  Jesus then took them to task, saying, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?”  Then Luke reported that Jesus, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets… interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”  Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to hear Jesus explain all the Old Testament scriptures that were about Him?  Have you ever read the Old Testament with those spectacles on?  After the Emmaus disciples were allowed to recognize Jesus they said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”  Can you imagine being taught by the Master and sensing that these truths were being sealed in your heart with great conviction and joy?

What do you imagine the Lord Jesus said about the prophet Jonah?  On one occasion, when the Scribes and Pharisees demanded a sign from Jesus to authenticate His claims and ministry, Jesus made a reference to Jonah.  We’ll look at that and make some other considerations of how Jonah is connected to Jesus and the Gospel.     

Pray:  When Jesus appeared to all His disciples in Jerusalem after His encounter with the two from Emmaus, He said this:  “Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  “Then,” Luke tells us, “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”  What a great thing to pray:  Lord open our minds to understand the Scriptures!         

Read:  Read Jonah 1-4.

Meditate:Jesus speaks of Jonah as a sign belonging to Him.What exactly is the connection between Jonah, Jesus and the Gospel?The questions below are designed to help us think through this question.