Jonah: The Prodigal Prophet

Artwork for God's Masterwork, Volume 4: An Invitation to Return—A Survey of Hosea-Malachi

Who hasn’t heard of Jonah? As the brunt of numerous jokes and the classic example of a rebel, he's the most well-known prophet. His story—familiar to young and old alike—has been proclaimed, analyzed, criticized, and assaulted for centuries. Viewed by critics as something between parable and fable, the veracity of Jonah’s book has suffered greatly. To most scholars, it’s merely a myth, little more than a humorous legend that originated in the mind of some creative soul in antiquity.

Nevertheless, it remains preserved by God…because it was inspired of God. From the account, we find extremely practical food for thought. And to the surprise of many Christians, the book of Jonah is the clearest revelation in all the Old Testament of the missionary heart of our God. Jonah is not the story of a whale but of a nation in desperate need of deliverance…and a messenger who was reluctant to go and announce the truth.