The Book of Jonah

Lesson 35

The Book:

Jonah means “dove”. His hometown, according to II Kings 14:25, was Gath-hepher, a village just three miles from Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. He was an example of God working through a man who was like most of us, wanted his own way, disobedient, pouted.


The Central Message:

Arise-go-preach (1:2 and 3:2)


Note: What a great lesson for us to learn, arise knock the dust off, go wherever he sends us, and preach the word of God to all creatures.


The Structure of the Book:

  • Jonah Flees- Chapter 1

    • Jonah was a Hebrew and he had been called by the Lord God to go to the Gentile capital city of Assyria, Nineveh, and preach in person, face to face. Instead, he flees, not that he could escape God, but from his calling as a prophet. He did not want Nineveh spared as we shall see. So, he took a ship in the opposite direction (v.3). God brought about a storm to get Jonah where he wanted him to be (12-17).

  • Lesson: Sometime the trouble in our lives, are cause by our own disobedience.


  • Jonah Prays- Chapter 2

    • Jonah was in a “prepared fish” as an act of preservation, not punishment. There is not one word of petition in Jonah’s prayer. It was a prayer of thanksgiving, praise, and rededication. Jonah had a change of heart in (v.9), “I will pay that that I have vowed.”  Jonah was then vomited out on dry land, safe and sound.

  • Lesson: Prayer is the key to overcoming troubles.


  • Jonah Preaches-Chapter 3

    • This lone prophet preached to the “great city” of Nineveh, the city was turn upside down for God, because a servant of God had been given a second chance and he preached.

    • Jesus mentions the power of Jonah’s preaching in Luke 11:29-30.

      • And when the people were gathered thick together, and he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

      • For as Jonas was a sign unto Ninevites, so shall the Son of man be to this generation.

      • The city repented and God changed his heart toward them.

Lesson: Great things are accomplished when the servant will obey God.


  • Jonah Learns-Chapter 4

    • Here in this chapter is a dialogue between Jonah and the Lord.

      • Jonah was angry and wanted God to take his life.

  • God prepared three things for Jonah while he was waiting.

    • Verse 6- a gourd

    • Verse 7- a worm

    • Verse 8- an east wind

Just as Jonah was a sign to Ninevites so shall the Son of Man be, Jonah came out of the fish after three days and nights, just as Christ came out of the tomb.


Jonah’s attitude was to use God’s wrath against the Ninevites, instead of serving God’s grace to the Ninevites. We see God moving with compassion and patience to bring Jonah around. Even preachers need a correction class.