It's Not About the Fish
In preparing to lead our Jonah class I was struck by how many commentators focus on the fish. It's not a book about fish!
So much ink is devoted to how it could be possible for a person to spend three days in a fish, the effects of vast amounts of gastric juices on human skin, the buoyancy to internal fresh air ratio. Party-game thought-experiments to amuse your friends can be found in abundance here, but the miraculous stories of scripture are not preserved for us to work out rationally how they could be done.
God is far more powerful than our limited perspective of the possible and that is illustrated by God’s greatest miracle of all as highlighted in Ephesians 2.1-7:
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
What a majestic miracle!
The story of Jonah is one of human recalcitrance and of God's power, mercy, and salvation. Certainly, one particular fish plays a strikingly dramatic role in that narrative, but it serves to remind us that God’s greatest plan, his greatest miracle—our salvation— will not be thwarted.
We can rest in the assurance that we who have faith in Christ are saved from death in sin. We can spend the rest of our eternal life glorifying God, serving Him, and preaching the Gospel. There is nothing more worthy of our focus.
The rest is trivia.
The Jonah class meets at 9:00 am Sunday mornings in the Fellowship Hall—it’s not too late to join us!