Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Bible Reading Plan

Reading Jonah

On September 26, our Bible Reading Plan takes up Jonah.  Jonah is classified as one of the twelve Minor Prophets, but contains very little prophecy. In fact, only one verse—Jonah 3:4—is prophecy.  The book of Jonah is actually a story, a kind of parable—not meant to be taken literally, but making a moral and theological point. 

Jonah is about national hatred and prejudice.  God sent Jonah to Nineveh, capital of Assyria, a brutal enemy of Israel.  Jonah tried to avoid going to Nineveh, precisely because he didn’t want God to have mercy and forgive the Assyrians.  He wanted them to suffer and be held accountable.  At the end, Jonah cares more about a bush to give him shade than about the lives of thousands of human beings. 

The story makes one think:

  • Who acts like Jonah today?
  • What people are like Assyrians to us?
  • Are we still precious and chosen, if God loves other people too?

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