I have made mention that in our evening service we are working our way through the book of Jonah, and I have posted one particular interesting bit concerning the city of Joppa. This coming Lord’s Day we will be finishing Jonah with the preaching of chapter 4, and I would like to present another interesting tidbit. Pastor Uri Brito has been blogging (a blog which I commend to you, good reader) about Jonah rather frequently and his newest post on the parallels between Jonah and Jesus got me thinking about the parallels between Jonah and Paul.
The Apostle Paul is another Jonah. He receives ordination from Christ to carry the Gospel to nations. He travels by boat numerous times, gets caught in storms, and calls Gentiles to repentance. Jonah did this reluctantly, and he pouts about the conversion of Gentiles (Jonah 4:1-3). Paul, on the other hand, goes to the Gentiles willingly, and as is evident from his numerous letters to the churches, he rejoices in their conversion.
Jonah does not want to forsake Israel and go to the pagans, but Paul casts off the Jews proclaiming that God’s judgment would come upon them and then goes to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46, 18:6, 28:28). Just as Israel was destroyed by Assyria after Jonah brought the Gospel to Nineveh, so too was Jerusalem destroyed by Rome after Paul brought the Gospel to the Gentiles.
Paul had the same attitude of Jonah, that of wanting to save his own people (Romans 9:3), but unlike Jonah, Paul is willing to obey God in giving compassion to the Gentiles.
Paul is a new Jonah, a more faithful Jonah.