The Secret Weapon
from the Jonah reading plan
Matt 12:38-41 | Luke 11:29-32 | 1 Corinthians 1:25-29
We see Jesus foreshadowed in several Old Testament characters. We see Him in Joseph, who was wrongly punished although he had committed no crime. We see Him in Moses, who brought freedom to his people. We see Him in David, whose kingdom God promised would have no end. And even though none of these men were perfect, they are all considered heroes, worthy of the large sections of the Bible dedicated to their stories.
Jonah? Not so much. And yet, Jonah is who Jesus points to when the people and teachers of the Law asked Him for a sign. They wanted another miracle – a way for Jesus to prove that He was truly the Messiah. He tells them that the only sign they’re going to get is the sign of Jonah, who was “buried” in the fish’s stomach for three days and nights. He plainly tells the people that He, too, will be buried in the earth for the same amount of time. Then He lambasts them for their lack of faith when they have so much evidence in front of them, while the people of Nineveh believed Jonah’s message immediately.
Our study of Jonah has painted a fairly unflattering picture of the prophet. Cowardly. Selfish. Lazy. Judgmental. Whiny. At first glance, he seems an odd choice to foreshadow Jesus’ burial and resurrection. Yet God chose him. Chose him to carry the message to the city of Nineveh. Chose him to pre-figure the most significant miracle in human history.
God specializes in choosing the poor, the imperfect, the outcast, the overlooked and yes, even the sinful, to fulfill His plan. It’s His secret weapon. He knows that people who feel weak and powerless are less likely to try to rely on their own strength. And He wants to make it clear that nothing disqualifies us from being used by Him – not anything in our past, no choice we have made, not what anyone says about us, nothing we’ve done. Jonah’s story reminds us that God truly can and will use anyone for His purpose.
What is your favorite story of someone unexpected being used to fulfill God’s plan?
Have you ever felt like you were disqualified from being used by God? Talk to Him today and ask Him to remind you how valuable you are.