Jonah And Jesus

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, April 20, 2003, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.


By Michael D. O’Neal              Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church              Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:34-40

Text: Matthew 12:40

Matthew 12:40 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.

Introduction: Of all the signs and wonders that the Lord Jesus Christ performed, only one was said to be a sign “given” to “an evil and adulterous generation.” That sign was the sign of Jonah and his three days and nights in the whale’s belly.

On this morning when people all over the world are talking about the Savior, I want you to think with me about Jonah and Jesus. Hopefully, the Lord will show us some similarities, some differences, and glorify our living, risen Lord!


Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

A. The man

  • A child of Amittai – Jonah 1:1; 2 Kings 14:25
  • A called prophet – 2 Kings 14:25; Matthew 12:39

B. The mess

  • There was a sinful people – the city of Nineveh
  • There was a self-righteous, stubborn prophet – Jonah
  • There was a sure punishment – for the stubborn prophet in the ship and the sinful people in the city

C. The must

  • Jonah 1:12 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.
  • Dropping weights didn’t work
  • Dedicated effort (rowing) didn’t work
  • The drowning of Jonah worked!

D. The miracle

  • A backslidden man was restored to service – that doesn’t happen very often!
  • A buried man (in the sea) was resurrected!

E. The message

  • Jonah 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said,Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
  • His message was one of divine retribution
  • His message was one with delightful results – the whole city got right with God! Jonah wasn’t all that delighted, but GOD was! 🙂


Acts 13:23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

A. The man

  • Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
  • A greater man than Jonah
  • A good man (the ONLY truly good man – Romans 3:12)
  • The GOD-man
  • The Everlasting God – Isaiah 9:6
  • The express image of God’s person – Hebrews 1:3
  • John 1:1,14; 1 Timothy 3:16

B. The mess

  • A sinful people – the whole WORLD – Romans 3:10,23
  • A sure punishment – eternal torment!

C. The must

  • Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
  • The must of a supernatural birth
  • The must of a sinless life
  • The must of a substitutionary death

D. The miracle

  • The barriers were removed – a slain man, the sepulchre, the stone, the seal, the soldiers, the scoffers, and Satan!
  • The buried man, the Lord, was resurrected!! Amen!

E. The message

  • Jonah’s message was one of divine retribution; the Lord’s resulting message is one of divine REDEMPTION!
  • It is a message with delightful results!
  • It is a message to dedicated representatives – 2 Corinthians 5:20
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