The Lord Jesus Christ taught that Jonah was a literal person and that he was literally swallowed by a whale (Matt 12:39-40; Lk 11:32). God sent Jonah to preach to the great city of Nineveh which was the capital of the Assyrian empire. Assyria had oppressed many people, including the Jews, so nothing would have pleased Jonah the patriot more than the fall of Nineveh. The fall of Nineveh would mean prosperity for Israel, but the prosperity of Nineveh would mean the fall of Israel. The prophet rebelled against his commission because he knew that if Nineveh repented, God would spare them (Jonah 3:10 – 4:2). This book is unique in that the Hebrew prophet is sent to Gentiles and the fact that it deals with the prophet more than his message.
Jonah is a prophetic picture of both the nation of Israel and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Matt 12:39-40).
I. Jonah Rebelling (1)
II. Jonah Repenting (2)
III. Jonah Resents (3)
IV. Jonah Rebuked (4)