Jonah is the story about a big fish, right? Jonah’s tale has been told on countless flannel boards in Sunday school classes all across the nation. It requires us to believe the impossible, but more than that, it forces us to confront the complexity and paradox of our faith. Often times, we’re more comfortable relegating Jonah to children’s stories than we are in allowing it penetrate our adult faith.
But Jesus talked about the story of Jonah, he saw it as being a central metaphor for his death and resurrection. Maybe there’s more to Jonah than a story of a large fish swallowing a man.
Few stories capture the spirit of disobedience and repentance like the story of Jonah. It’s a story of God’s compassion and longing for all people to return to him. It’s a story of running and coming home, of illusions and disillusions, of disobedience and spiteful obedience. Ultimately Jonah is a story about a resentful prophet and a relentless God who transforms the world through his love.