The book of Jonah
(A type of redemption through Christ)
The following is a brief commentary on the four chapters of this book. A further exposition will occur at a later date. Tape series available.
Chapter (1) Substitution
The first chapter of Jonah is a glorious illustration of the doctrine of substitution. One man perishing in order to save the whole. Our Master in order to give credibility to this incredible book, which is filled with miracle after miracle, pointing to the miracle of His saving grace, directly links Jonah's experience to His great sacrifice for those he came to save. Do not miss this. Do not stumble at the stumbling stone as so many do who will not drink the water of life "Jesus Christ" from the rock of redemptive history in the scriptures.
Matt 12vs42 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Jonah stands as a clear type of Christ in several ways.
(1) His name means dove or pigeon. It was the sacrifice of a poor Jew who could not afford to bring a lamb to the priest to atone for his sin. See Lev 5vs7. This sacrifice points to Jesus Christ the great sacrifice of the poor who could not bring anything to the table of justice for satisfaction. See 2cor 8vs9.
(2)Jonah was born in the regions of Galilee as our Savior. Josh 19vs10-13 Gath Hepher was a town in Naphtali, which in turn was in the region of Galilee.
The Pharisee's thinking they knew the scriptures confidently asserted that no prophet arose out of Galilee. John 8vs52. They missed the only prophet to come out of Galilee. And the theology of most of Christendom today misses that prophet which comes out of Galilee.
The particulars of the account we will save for a larger exposition and commentary
The ship of mariners which Jonah took to flee from the presence of the LORD, represents not the world, but the elect of God. It is for them that Christ entered into this stormy world of sin and chaos. Vs 4-5 "But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken."
The Holy Ghost in order to tie this historical event to the redemption of believers in Christ, record for us in Matthew's gospel such a striking parallel with Christ and his disciples that one would have to be ignorant of the account, blind or rebellious to see the intention of our Master to show himself to be the greater and antitype of Jonah to come, see Matt 8vs24-27.
As the disciples of our LORD so these mariners were made to see the peril that their lives were in. This trouble sent by divine providence drove them to seek Jonah. Thus acquainting themselves with him they learn about the true and the living God, and the way of salvation through the substitutionary death of another. Vs6-11. Vs 12 "And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you." Here is your substitution. Here is the gospel! Here is the only way of salvation for sinners! Christ must be lifted up. John 3vs13,14 John 12vs31-32 Isa 53vs5
Their response is typical of self righteous men and women who are not yet convinced of their bankrupt state spiritually. Vs13 "Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them." It is foolishness to the carnal mind to think that their eternal safety must come through the death of another, while they stand by and do nothing.
When God has convinced the sinner that safety lies in believing, not doing, not striving, not toiling against the tides and winds of sin and the flesh; they, by the miracle of faith, cast themselves upon the gracious commandment to believe on him whom he has sent, and find rest to their souls Vs15 "So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging."
The result of believing, which is the obedience of faith, commanded to all, see Rom16vs25, is a saving knowledge and commitment to the true and living God. Vs 16 "Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows."
Has God saved you thus? My prayer is that He has indeed saved you thus.
Vs 17 "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Let all the world know that the death of Christ was no accident. It was no tragedy or martyrdom as men suppose, but the act of a Sovereign God who was fully in control of every event in the world, from the conception of Christ's office as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, to the fall of man, to the cross of Calvary where the Son of God appeared bringing light and immortality to light through the gospel. Acts 2vs23 "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:"
May God help you to see my LORD Jesus Christ coming in the volume of the book, it is written of him! Psalm 40 vs7 "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,"
Grace Bible Church
San Leandro, CA 94572
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