Jesus, the perfect Jonah

Who is Jesus?

Matthew 12:41  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

The story of Jonah is one of redemption.  The prophet was sent to a people that God wanted to reach with His message.  Jonah’s dislike of the people caused him to initially refuse the assignment.  But as we know, he eventually did go and the people did receive God’s message of repentance through Jonah.  Despite their turning their hearts toward God, however, Jonah still refused to love these people.

Contrast this with the story of Jesus, who obediently went to the people God wanted to reach.  Unlike the Ninevites, these people rejected Jesus’ message and did not turn toward God.  And here, unlike Jonah, Jesus chose to love them anyway.  He came out of His love and He remained in His love.  Then, in the ultimate act of love, He died for those who had rejected Him.

Jesus was the perfect missionary.  He lived out a perfect life as an example and spoke with authority.  Though the people rejected Him, He fulfilled the call of Jonah, making Him the perfect Jonah.