Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
FAST OF NINEVEH ENDS – CELEBRATION OF REDEMPTION
JONAH 4: 1-11
V11 “And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
The story of Jonah and the Whale is very much amusing especially to the little children in Sunday School Classes. Jonah although considered a minor Prophet gives a number of lessons through the events happened in the book and is of much significance. The apostolic churches observe three days fast in remembrance of Jonah staying in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights just like the Son of Man stayed in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40.
The book of Jonah teach us about: (1) The seriousness of Sin in the sight of God (2) Need for repentance (3) Redemption of the whole creation and transformation brought out by the Gospel. Jonah, the Son of Amittai, was from Gath Hepher, prophesied when Jeroboam was the King. That is when the Lord came to him asking him to go to Nineveh and preach against it because of its wickedness. But Jonah disobeyed and boarded the ship going to Tarshish which was diametrically in the opposite direction ; because according to Jonah (1) he was doing a successful “ministry” in his home town and he didn’t like God’s intervention (2) Nineveh the capital city of Assyria which was the enemy of Jewish people and he didn’t want to preach to them. He wants God’s goodness only to Israelites. Jonah wants God to deal with them according to their wickedness.
When Jonah came out of the belly of the fish and landed on the shore he was asked the second time to go the City of Nineveh and proclaim God’s message of impending destruction of the city and this time he obeyed. When the people of Nineveh heard the message they all repented and when God saw their repentance God had compassion and did not bring destruction he had threatened. Jonah was angry that God would have compassion on an enemy of Israel. He wanted God’s goodness to be shown only to Israelites not to the Gentiles. But God's love is universal and all who repent receive his redemption.
Thank you lord for loving us and saving us even when we were sinners.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God’s salvation is for the entire universe. He doesn’t show any partiality. (Rom 2:11)
P.V.Varghese Epiphany MTC New York.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church