For quite a few years when I was just reading the Bible without a set reading plan, I enjoyed a break from reading the books of history after Second Kings, moving to the prophets. And our first is Jonah, who was mentioned back in 2 Kings 14.
Note that the little story of Jonah is masterfully written. Little details poke out everywhere. Jonah has a downward journey. He goes down from Jerusalem to Joppa, then down again into the hold of the boat, and then down into the underworld of the ocean. He wasn't just being disobedient. He was saying, “I'm turning in my prophet's mantle.”
Bob Deffinbaugh: “Let’s face it, don’t you find that our text has reversed the heroes and the villains? … we would have expected Jonah to be the hero, while the heathen sailors would certainly have been expected to be the villains. This was certainly the perspective of Jonah, and of the Israelites, whom he typified. Yet in our text, it is the sailors who pray, while Jonah does not. The sailors sought to deal with sin on the ship, not Jonah. The sailors end up worshiping God, [Jonah grumbled against God//not Jonah]. The sailors have compassion on Jonah, while he seems to have little concern for the danger in which he has put them. Clearly, this chapter turns our expectations inside-out.”
Even the fish comes out better than Jonah. He obeyed. The pagans of Nineveh and their king also come out looking better than Jonah. They repent.
This is the most famous antiphonal psalm. If it won’t bother anyone around you while you are listening, I invite you to join me on the antiphonal response: His love is eternal.
Jesus’ high priestly prayer is considered the pinnacle of the upper room discourse.
GNT Translation notes:
Jon. 1:16 [NET The men feared the Lord greatly, and earnestly vowed to offer lavish sacrifices to the Lord.//This made the sailors so afraid of the Lord that they offered a sacrifice and promised to serve him.]
John 17:3 [I, the writer, agree and add that, “//And] eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent.[” Jesus was still praying,]
21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be [joined as one with//in] us, just as you are [joined with//in] me and I am [joined with//in] you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
23 I [joined as one with//in] them and you [joined with//in] me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.
26 I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be [one with//in] them.”
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