It doesn’t take much effort to see that the world’s gone mad. We’re bombarded, daily, with messages of violence, scandals, and corruption. Turning on the news is enough to drive any sane person off the deep end. But we’re not alone. Cultures in the past have been through this before. During the heights of the Assyrian Empire’s reign, Nineveh was one of the capitol cities and one of the greatest cities in the known world. Unfortunately, the city was also defined by it’s wickedness and evil.
Jonah was the lucky prophet of the day who was called by God to bring a message to Nineveh. But knowing the power of God’s grace, and thinking that Nineveh should get what they deserved, Jonah decided to run from God’s call. In his rebellion, God sent a great fish to swallow Jonah. For 3 days and 3 nights Jonah cried out to God in the belly of the beast and was eventually vomited onto dry land. In this second chance at life, Jonah finally decides to do his job.
The book of Jonah is a hilarious story about a rebellious prophet who reluctantly followed God’s call. But this story isn’t as funny when we study it in light of this truth: We are like Jonah.
WE’RE CALLED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL.
Jonah was told to go to Nineveh and call out against their evil ways. We, too, are called to go and call out, but in a very different way. After his resurrection, Jesus told his followers to go into the world and make disciples. He told his followers to share the Gospel. A short while later, Jesus told his followers that they would be given the Holy Spirit in order for them to be his witnesses. If you’re a Christian you are called to tell people about Jesus. For Jonah, it might have taken a great fish but he finally understood that he didn’t have a choice. A calling isn’t optional.
WE USUALLY RUN.
In his selfishness, Jonah heard the call and immediately had other plans. Unfortunately, we’re not that different. We’re told throughout scripture to share what Christ has done and how he’s worked in our lives. We’re commanded to share the Gospel and be a witness. But when the opportunity presents itself to do just that, how many of us overcome the fear and act out on this calling? Many of us run just like Jonah. We run from God’s calling with our lives, devices, and even with our relationships. In this world of wickedness and selfishness we don’t need more excuses. We need genuine followers of Jesus who will stop at nothing to see the Gospel go forward.
GOD USES THE BROKEN.
Despite his initial refusal and reluctance to bring God’s message, God still worked in a mighty way. Even after his disobedience and his bad attitude, God still chose to use Jonah. It’s no secret that we’re just as selfish and broken as Jonah. We’ve rebelled from God. We’ve fallen short. We’ve sinned. Yet, God continues to use us for His glory. Sure, we’re not perfect, but we’re exactly who God wants to use for His purposes. Don’t use your brokenness as an excuse not to act. God can and will use you, if you’ll just let Him.
Our world has gone mad, but God put on flesh to take care of it. He died on the cross to pay for our sins in full, and was raised from the dead in order that we might have life. This Gospel, must be shared with the world in order to bring repentance and healing to a broken land. Want to change the world? Stop running from God and start sharing Jesus.
*What’s the Holy Spirit saying to you today? Contact Scott
(Photo by Flickr user: Jeffrey Stylos)