We read in 2nd Kings 14:25 of ...
the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher."
Gathhepher grammatically means
"wine-press on the hill!"
It is located about 3 miles from
Jesus lived, according to Matthew
2:23, in Nazareth! "And he came and dwelt
in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."
Both Jonah and Jesus came from
multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of
Galilee." Matthew 21:11
Apparently that area did not enjoy a
good reputation with the people of Judah, the southern part of
Nathaniel, one of Christ's
Disciples, at first asked: "Can there any
good thing come out of Nazareth?" That's when ...
"Philip saith unto him, Come and see."
At least once in the Bible Galilee
was clearly associated with the despised Gentiles!
"The land of Zabulon, and the land of
Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the
Gentiles." Matthew 4:15
Even the Pharisees disparaged the
area. "They answered and said unto him,
Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee
ariseth no prophet." John 7:52 (This is not the first
... or last ... time these men were wrong!)
Both Jonah and Jesus were reared in
Both were brought up near each
Both were associated with Galilee.
Both had been acclimated to
The area of Galilee that included
both Gathhepher and Nazareth was intersected by trade routes,
roads that led commercial interests both north and south as well
as east and west. Peoples of many nations traveled thereby and
often dwelt in the area.
Jesus our Lord, even as a young Man,
had been around Gentiles for years!
Why is this so important?
Jonah is best known for his ministry
The Ninevites were Assyrians!
AND WHILE JONAH WAS
HESITANT IN HIS DEALING WITH GENTILES ... Jesus loved THEM!
Our dear Lord, different from most
Jews, had a vast world-view!
In fact, on the Cross of Calvary ...
Jesus died for us old Gentiles!
"Filthy dogs," most Israelites
"Objects of love," Jesus countered!
"For God so
loved the world (including
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
(Jesus) came unto his own (the Jews), and his own received him
not. But as many as received him (us Gentiles), to them gave he
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on
his name." John 1:11-12
Praise the Lord!
Jonah, centuries before the Cross,
showed us (in spite of himself) how God loves the peoples of all
nations, even Assyrians!
In that sense too He prefigured our
Again one may ask, WHY is Brother
Bagwell so excited?
Because I am an old Gentile!
I was among the "despised!"
But Jesus loved me!
And died for me!
And saved my soul!
Thank God for these two men who
ministered to Gentiles! Although one (Jonah) did so reluctantly
... and The Other (Jesus) did so willingly!
"The Lord is
not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;
but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
perish, but that all
should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9
Glory to his Name!
Believing Friend, on this first day
of the new year, thank God you are saved!
Thank Him that Jesus included
Gentiles in the great Plan of Salvation!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
It's a fact easily overlooked now.
Within just a few years of Israel's
rejection of Jesus as her Messiah, the nation lay in ruins!
Jerusalem had been besieged and
The Temple had been destroyed.
The people had been brutally
mistreated. Thousands of them starved to death. Many others were
Jesus truly lived and preached in
the "last days" of His nation.
Israel did not "exist" as a nation
from 70 AD until 1948 AD!
During that time the dear Jewish
people "wandered" from place to place, having to settle
throughout the other nations of the world.
Another Prophet of Galilee preached
under similar conditions!
His name was Jonah.
He, although most famously preaching
to the Gentile Assyrians, also had a ministry with the people
of Israel. His nation had "split" years earlier into two
kingdoms, a northern one and a southern one. And Jonah was a
2nd Kings 14:25 specifically tells
us: "He (Israel's King Jeroboam, son of
Joash) restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath
unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God
of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the
son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher."
Jonah preached in the days of Jeroboam, really Jeroboam II. He
reigned roughly around 775 BC and Israel was "taken" captive by
the Assyrians in 721 BC!
Therefore ... Jonah preached in the
"last days" of his nation too!
By the way, quickly notice one thing
with me please. Although Israel had only a few years left prior
to her national "expulsion," she was "prospering" politically!
Land, taken years ago, was being restored. Commerce was
"booming." And life had seldom been better!
Then ... suddenly and quickly ...
the "end" came!
Woe be unto other nations, including
contemporary ones, who sinfully ignore Almighty God!
Yes, Jonah and Jesus ... both men
were Prophets of the "last days!"
Those men of God associated with
such times are often called upon to rebuke sin. Both Hosea and
Amos preached during the time of Jeroboam II also. Listen to
Amos: "Woe to them that are at
ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are
named chief of the nations! Ye that put far away the evil
day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; that lie upon
beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and
eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst
of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to
themselves instruments of musick, like David; that drink wine in
bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they
are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore now
shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the
banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed."
Portions of Amos 6
And Jonah surely had no trouble
preaching doom to the inhabitants of wicked Gentile Nineveh!
"Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be
overthrown," he repeatedly cried!
And listen to Jesus rebuke sin in
the last days of Israel prior to 70 AD. He especially clashed
with the religious hypocrites of the time.
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to
his disciples, saying; The scribes and the Pharisees sit in
Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that
observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say,
and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be
borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will
not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works
they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their
phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and
love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the
synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of
men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:
for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are
entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence
make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater
damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For
ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is
made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than
yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, whosoever
shall swear by the temple, woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and
have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy,
and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the
other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and
swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the
platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou
blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and
platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but
are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within
ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the
prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say,
if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have
been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore
ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of
them which killed the prophets."
Yes, Jonah was a "last days"
preacher ... and Jesus was too!
Additionally ... the true
men of God who live on earth today are as
Biblically speaking, we have been in
the "last days" since Jesus walked this earth 2,000 years ago!
Hebrews 1 informs us: "God ... hath in
these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath
appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
Men, we too must confront sin!
We must preach "judgment" from the
hand of a Holy God!
Brethren, let it be ultimately said
of us in our future eternal home: "Jonah and Jesus and
your name here
, preachers of
righteousness! Faithful even in the 'last days' of their
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
P. S. --- Jonah of course was an inferior Preacher when compared
to Jesus! His ministry, even during exceedingly sinful
times, was rather upbeat and optimistic. At least that's
the case from the information we have recorded in Scripture.
Jonah even spoke some "good things" about a wicked King
(Jeroboam II of Israel)!
Of course he preached judgment to the Gentiles! He even
became angry when God did not judge the Ninevites!
However, Jesus always exposed truth accurately and boldly!
Our Lord neither had "favorites" nor did He harbor any
bitterness at the Will of His Father in Heaven!
And then notice this too: Both times the Judgment of God
fell upon Israel, in 721 BC shortly after Jonah lived and again
in 70 AD shortly after Jesus' earthly Ministry, the terrible
calamities that befell were the side-effects of sin! God
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach
to any people." Proverbs 14:34
Jonah loved his Country!
The only time this Prophet is
mentioned in Scripture, prior to the Book that bears his name,
he has been preaching about the prosperity of his nation,
"He (the King
of Israel) restored the coast of Israel from the entering of
Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the
LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant
Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of
Gathhepher." 2nd Kings 14:25
I suspect Jonah loved preaching that
Yes, although Jeroboam, this being
the second Jewish King to bear that name, did not do right in
the sight of God ... he nonetheless was blessed of the Lord in
having much formerly captured land restored to his people!
Hamath was in the north and the "Sea of the plain" was the Dead
Sea in the south!
Jonah the Prophet was no doubt
well-known throughout Israel as a man with great patriotism!
His words were powerfully strong on Israel's behalf!
In fact, that may have been the key
reason why Jonah did NOT want to go preach at Nineveh. The
people of Assyria (of which Nineveh was the main city) were
fierce enemies to Israel! Jonah could not bear the thought that
God might forgive them and "spare" that ungodly nation. To do
so would be sure "suicide" for Israel!
In fact, within a relatively few
years of Jonah's ministry, Assyria DID attack Israel, taking ten
of her Tribes into captivity!
I say this again: Jonah loved
Now think with me a few minutes
He, our dear Lord, loved Israel too!
You will find these words to be
quite plain. "These twelve Jesus sent
forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye
not: but go rather to
the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew
And later when a Canaanite women
asked for healing for her daughter, Jesus responded:
"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of
the house of Israel." Matthew 15:24
And, most powerfully of all, in
Matthew 23:37 Jesus cried: "O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest
them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered
thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens
under her wings, and ye would not!"
Even when the Lord returns again to
earth, Revelation 1:7 promises that "they also which pierced
Him" will see Him and will "wail" because of Him ... trusting
Jesus as their Saviour! It is specifically the Jew who
"pierced" our Lord.
Yes, He still loves Israel!
Isn't that amazing?
The two great Bible Prophets, one
very human and One wholly Divine ... Jonah and Jesus, came from
Galilee, "Galilee of the Gentiles" according to Matthew 4:15.
Yet both loved Israel passionately!
Paul the Apostle shared this love!
Listen to him: "For I am not ashamed of
the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth;
to the Jew first,
and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16
He even said this:
"For I could wish that myself were
accursed from Christ
for my brethren, my
kinsmen according to the flesh." Paul was willing
to die and go to Hell ... if only Israel would be saved! Romans
And, back to Jonah just for a
second, as soon as that storm hit on his now famous ocean
journey, he identified himself saying: "I
am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven,
which hath made the sea and the dry land." Jonah
"I am a Hebrew!"
He was not ashamed!
Rather, he was proud of his Jewish
He loved his Country!
Of course Jonah's love for Israel,
although admirable, did not eternally help them at all. His
efforts were merely temporary.
However, Jesus' love for Israel, His
shed Blood on their behalf (as well as ours) has made possible
their very Redemption!
manner of love!" 1st John 3:1
Yes, in summary, Jonah loved the
Jesus loved the Jews!
Paul loved the Jews!
In fact, there is a Bible promise of
blessing to all those who love the Jews! To folks who "bless"
Abraham and his seed God guarantees some things.
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get
thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy
father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will
make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy
name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that
curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth
be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3
The Lord even went so far as to
promise a blessing for those who pray for Israel!
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they
shall prosper that love thee." Psalm 122:6
Christian friend, have you prayed
for Israel today?
Have you witnessed to that Jewish
man or woman you know?
Or ... do we even care?
I'm going to be favorable to God's
Jesus was a Jew! God's Son, yes ...
but still a Jew physically!
So were the Prophets of old!
And the Apostles of New Testament
And the Word of God even came to us
through Jewish hands! Paul said of the Jews,
"unto them were committed the oracles
(Word) of God." Romans 3:2
Yes, we had best have a burden for
the salvation of Israel!
After all, several times God called
her "the apple of His Eye!" Listen to the warning of Zechariah
2:8. "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he
sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth
you (Israel) toucheth the apple of his
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Old Testament Prophet Jonah was
called of God to go preach to the people of Nineveh. Instead,
he hurried to Israel's seaport, determined not to obey this
But yesterday I learned something
The route Jonah would have taken on
the trip from his home at Gathhepher to the port city of Joppa
would have carried him right through the land of Samaria.
Yes, Jonah went right through
He traveled southbound dozens and
dozens of miles, running from God's "Presence!" At lest that's
what he said in Jonah 1:3.
Jonah went through Samaria, in
Jonah went through Samaria, hoping
to avoid preaching to sinners!
Jonah went through Samaria, thinking
only of Israel and her needs! He despised the "dirty" people of
Jonah went through Samaria, to gain
passage on a boat from which he would eventually be cast into
the sea, swallowed by a whale and three days later ... vomited
upon the shore!
Jonah went through Samaria ... in a
I hope you have already discerned
some "parallels" between Jonah and Another Man Who "went through
We are once told of Jesus:
"And He must needs go through Samaria."
Yes, Jesus too went right through
But whereas Jonah went southbound,
Jesus was going northbound!
While Jonah was running from God's
Presence, Jesus was perfectly in God's Presence, in full
communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit!
Jonah traversed Samaria in
disobedience, Jesus "needed" to go there in fulfillment of His
Father's Will! That verb "needs" in John 4:4 ("dei" in Greek)
means "must" or "was necessary!" Perfect obedience!
And though Jonah went through
Samaria hoping to avoid preaching to sinners, the people of
Nineveh, Jesus went there looking for sinners! He found one
too, a Samaritan woman who was "hungry" for God!
And though Jonah was nearly a
nationalist "bigot," loving only Israel, Jesus came to die for
the lost, no matter their nationality! Even the despised
And do notice this fact. Whereas
Jonah went through Samaria on his way to the belly of a whale
for three days and nights, Jesus went through Samaria ultimately
on His way to Calvary's Cross! The Cross where He died ... was
buried ... and raised again the third day! Our Lord Himself
said in 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
Then, Jonah quite hurriedly went
through Samaria ... but Jesus took His time, long enough to see
a soul get saved! A woman who had lived a life of sin! I can
see Jesus now sitting by Jacob's Well, waiting for her to
I hope you see what I've tried to do
Jonah and Jesus!
And of course of the two, Jesus is
"Behold, a greater than Jonas is
here!" Matthew 12:41
It's sure easy to grasp this: Where
Jonah failed ... Jesus succeeded!
Praise His good Name!
Yes, today let's thank and praise
and worship the "One Who is Greater than Jonah" for dying to
save us from Hell!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Lord Jesus, when on earth two
thousand years ago, compared himself to Jonah. Of course He is
much "greater" than Jonah, but several parallels nonetheless
exist between the two Galilean Prophets.
Here's the most prominent one.
Jesus said: "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."
But notice another instance too.
After Jonah had boarded the ship,
the one which he intended to take to Tarshish, he ...
"was gone down into the sides of the ship;
and he lay, and was fast asleep." Jonah 1:5
Jonah went to sleep!
Jesus also went to sleep in a boat!
But this difference exists: Jonah
was tired because of his running FROM God. Jesus was tired
because of His constant working FOR God!
Mark records Jesus' rest that day.
"And He was in the hinder part of the
ship, asleep on a pillow." Mark 4:38
Jonah went to seep in an effort NOT
to preach! Jesus went to sleep having been physically exhausted
because of much preaching! He had just given His perfect
"Sermon on the Mount," the very longest of His Messages.
Jonah's sleep was interpreted as his
not "caring" about the storm at hand! So was Jesus' rest!
And He was in the hinder part of the ship,
asleep on a pillow: and they (the disciples) awake Him, and say
unto Him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Mark
Jonah's storm was allowed to show
the consequences of sin! Jesus' storm came to show the power of
One Sinless Person, the Son of God! "And
the disciples said one to another, What manner of Man is This,
that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
Jonah knew how to STOP that
Mediterranean storm ... the sailors must cast him overboard!
Jesus knew how to STOP that Galilean storm ... simply speak the
words of peace! "And he arose, and rebuked
the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind
ceased, and there was a great calm." (Mark 4:39) I told
you! Jesus is greater than Jonah!
The storm of Jonah brought rebuke to
the backslidden prophet! "So the
shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O
sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think
upon us, that we perish not." Jonah 1:6 The storm of
Jesus brought rebuke to the disciples!
"And He (Jesus) said unto them (the twelve), Why are ye so
fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?"
That Old Testament storm got the
best of Jonah, leading to his three-day incarceration in the
belly of a great fish! Jesus "rebuked" His storm, leading to
further glory for God His Father!
Folks, let me ask you a question
today. As you experience the "storms" of life, the hard times
and various difficulties that come your way, Whom do you want
with you as the winds rage and waters roll?
I want JESUS in my life!
He, rather than any other
individual, is the ONE Who can handle the storms!
He can even "walk" on the waters!
He is the Creator of all!
Anyone in such a storm today?
Then call it to His Attention!
He is still the Master of the Sea!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Prophet Jonah actually ran from
the Presence of God!
rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD."
He decided to buy passage on a ship,
one headed in the very opposite direction from Nineveh!
But, soon the backslidden Prophet
learned that his "holiday" in the sun was not to be!
The storm came!
And Jonah found
himself the subject of a grueling series of questions!
reluctant Man of God had been marked as the cause of the violent
wind and furious tempest ... he had to "answer" for some things!
The Captain is
specifically mentioned as the interrogator!
"Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause
this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation?
and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what
people art thou?" Jonah 1:8
fashion, Jonah was under the "microscope," being examined for
his past deeds!
In a way this
scene reminds me of a future time when we all (as Christians)
will be so questioned!
Yes, each of us
Believers will have to answer some questions ... before our
Captain too ... at the Judgment Seat of Christ!
Paul words it
this way: "For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive
the things done in his body, according to that he
hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2nd
teaches us: "I have laid the foundation,
and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he
buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than
that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon
this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay,
stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for
the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by
fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it
is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he
shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he
shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by
fire." 1st Corinthians 3:10-15
Jonah didn't do
very well. He suffered "loss" that day for sure! Yet I remind
you, he is still a "saved" Prophet of God and will spend
eternity in heaven!
Jonah was on the
receiving end of judgment!
The "greater than
Jonah" Prophet from Galilee, the Son of God, Deity incarnate,
will also some day be at that Judgment Seat Paul mentioned!
But NOT as one
He is the One Who
will be administering Judgment!
the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto
the Son. That all men should honour the Son, even
as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son
honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." John
He is the One Who
knows our thoughts and motives!
He is the One Who
discerns the wood, hay and stubble ... or the gold, silver and
precious stones in our Christian service!
And even on that
serious day, the day of the saints' reckoning, Jesus will be
glorified and recognized and honored as the Fulfillment of all
Jonah merely represented!
Yes I say it
again, quoting our Lord Who is in context speaking about
judgment, "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." Matthew 12:41
We all, having
either been rewarded or having suffered loss, will gladly join
the throngs already in heaven saying:
"Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy
judgments." Revelation 16:7
Or, grouped from
Psalm 119, "Righteous art thou, O
LORD, and upright are thy judgments." Or maybe:
"Seven times a day do I praise thee
because of thy righteous judgments." Again,
"At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy
righteous judgments." And maybe,
"I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have
learned thy righteous judgments."
Jesus ... The Judge!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
There's no doubt about it.
Jonah IS a
Type of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Especially in his
descent into the "belly" of the great fish ... and expulsion
three days later on dry ground!
That was a
picture of the burial and resurrection of our Lord.
But I noticed
something else earlier this week.
Jonah, once he
was discovered to be a runaway Prophet and the cause of the
great storm, suddenly became more humble and reverent.
In order to calm
the storm he even said this: "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." Jonah 1:12
Did you read that
(rightly) that he is the cause of the terrible cyclone.
He also believes
(rightly) that he can help calm the thing too!
So ... he
volunteers to be thrown overboard!
The Prophet, in
reality, has become willing to die ... in order to save the
others on board the ship!
"So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth
into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging." Jonah
This, folks, is
This is a
vicarious sacrifice of one man for many men!
And it is an
astounding picture of what Jesus did on the old rugged Cross for
you and me!
No, Jesus is not
the cause of sin. Adam was!
And no, Jesus is
not in the least disobedient or sinful as was Jonah. In fact,
our Lord was ... "in all points tempted
like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:14
But, yes, Jesus
was willing to die!
And yes, He was
dying for others. Not just a few as in Jonah's case ... but for
Jesus was the
True Atonement for lost souls!
He is the
He is the
He is The Saviour!
Jesus, as Jonah,
died at the hands of those He intended to save!
prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they
know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast
lots." Luke 23:34
Then ... Jesus,
again as Jonah, was buried!
Jonah in a
whale's stomach ... Jesus in a borrowed rock grave!
Both were in
their respective places of confinement for three days and three
The both came
"up" out of the depths!
There is even
some grammatical reason to believe that Jonah just may have died
too ... and then was subsequently raised from the dead!
There is no doubt
Jesus was bodily resurrected by his Father!
And the result of
Jonah's ordeal: "Then the men feared the
LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and
made vows." Jonah 1:16
To describe the
sailors' response in New Testament terms, they believed on the
Lord! They got saved!
Their lives were
And the result of
Jesus' Death Burial and Resurrection?
thousands have been born again, washed in the precious Blood of
the Lamb, redeemed!
No wonder the
world today scoffs at the Bible account of Jonah.
We need not be
surprised that liberal so-called "scholars" doubt the accuracy
of the "great fish" story!
It so clearly
foreshadows the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... that the devil must
fight it passionately!
I just know
this. If Jonah's life and ministry were acceptable to Jesus,
there are just fine for Brother Bagwell too!
Yes, I do believe
the strange account of that little Minor Prophet, the one
swallowed by a whale!
How thankful we
should be today that Jesus has come and died and been buried and
raised again ... "for our justification."
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
When one studies
the Bible, looking for great examples of praying men and women,
he just can't overlook the Old Testament Prophet Jonah!
Whatever may be said "against"
Jonah, one thing just must be said "for" him; he was a man of
He knew how to commune with God!
The greatest of his prayers is
recorded in Jonah chapter two.
It is a classic case study in
Really the whole
chapter needs to be inserted here. I will capitalize certain
words or phrases for emphasis.
Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's
belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine
the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of
hell cried I, and
thou heardest my
voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of
the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and
thy waves passed over me. Then I said,
I am cast out of thy
sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The
waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me
round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down
to the bottoms of the
mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever:
yet hast thou brought up
my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted
within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto
thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities
forsake their own mercy. But I will
thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will
pay that that I
have vowed. Salvation
is of the LORD."
Not only is the
prayer absolutely full of Old Testament Scripture, it is also
intensely personal and beautifully worded. And, when compared
with most other Bible prayers, it is lengthy too!
Bagwell, was his prayer "answered?"
"And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it
vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." Jonah 2:10
Now ... let me
compare Jonah to Another Prayer Warrior in the Bible, the most
effective One of all!
Jesus, Who is
much "Greater than Jonah," also prayed a lengthy prayer in the
Bible! It is recorded in John 17.
But I really feel
Jonah's prayer from the belly of the whale is more comparable to
Jesus' Gethsemane prayer!
records that Jesus ... "kneeled down, and
prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from
me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there
appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And
being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as
it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And
when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he
found them sleeping for sorrow." Luke 22
"Then saith Jesus unto them, My soul is
exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch
with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face,
and prayed." Matthew 26
the final details, says that Jesus "began
to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. And he went forward a
little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were
possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba,
Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup
from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
As Jonah prayed
he was facing death!
So was Jesus!
So did Jesus!
Jonah knew his
cause was in the Hand of the Lord God!
So with Jesus!
Jonah was said to
be "cast out of the sight of the Lord!"
Jesus cried that
He was "forsaken" of the Father too!
Jonah was at the
"bottoms of the mountains!"
Jesus went to
"the heart of the earth!"
Jonah was by then
determined to keep His vows to God!
So was Jesus ...
"Thy Will be done, Father!"
Then ... Jonah's
prayer dealt ultimately with salvation!
why Jesus died too, to save perishing old sinners!
And, by the way,
Jonah's prayer was answered!
As was our
Lord's! "Who in the days of his flesh,
when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong
crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,
and was heard in that he feared." Hebrews 5:8
Two men of
One being just
the symbol or emblem or the "type," but the Other eternally
being the Antitype or the Fulfillment!
Glory to God!
I am so thankful
Come to think of
it, He is still praying yet today!
tells us of our Lord: "He ever liveth to
make intercession for them who come unto God by him!"
Glory to God!
Just think about
it Christian friend!
Jesus has already
prayed for YOU today!
He is indeed the
GREAT High Priest!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Prophet Jonah
spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale!
Jesus said so.
"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."
Our Lord further indicated that this
ordeal of Jonah's was a "picture" or a "type" or a "symbol" to
the men of this world. "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
The Greek word
there for "sign" is "semeion" and means "that which points to
into the fish's stomach "points" to Jesus' Death!
days and nights there "point" to Jesus' Burial!
release from the whale ... alive and on dry land ... "points" to
Jesus' Bodily Resurrection!
Let me mention
several quick truths about Jonah's coming out of the whale's
Jonah had nothing
to do with such an expulsion! He was a passive participant! And
so was Jesus raised from the dead ... by His Father's Power!
"That if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
(Romans 10:9) Notice Who raised Jesus from the dead! God the
was a carefully timed event! Precisely after three days and
nights had passed, the Prophet was deposited upon dry ground!
So was Jesus raised from the dead ... on the third day!
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew
unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and
suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes,
and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
raised, likely was a "marked" man. He surely bore in his body
certain indications of his time in the whale's belly! Perhaps
certain "stains" or "scars" easily visible to others! And Jesus
too bore marks of His Death! Nail scarred hands and feet, even
after His Resurrection are apparent! Jesus, after His
Resurrection, said to Thomas: "Reach
hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy
hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless,
but believing." John 20:27
And if I might
add this fact. The whale, after experiencing his Jonah "event,"
went off somewhere and died! How do I know this? Well, he
either died or there is a 2,700 year old whale swimming
somewhere in the ocean! And it is so fitting that this whale
died! Because Jesus, when He arose from the Grave, also "slew"
that dreaded enemy! Jesus, through his Death ... destroyed
death! "Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
1st Corinthians 15:54-55
everywhere Jonah went thereafter, he was known as "the man who
entered and exited the stomach of a
whale!" Surely that miraculous event defined him thereafter!
And so it is with Jesus too! Every time the Apostles mentioned
His Name, after His Death and Burial and Resurrection, they
called attention to His being ALIVE, RESURRECTED, VICTORIOUS!
Listen to Peter at Pentecost: "Him
(Jesus), being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have
crucified and slain:
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of
death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of
it." Acts 2:23-24
Look at those
last words: "It was not possible"
that death should hold Him! Neither could the whale "hold"
Jonah! The fish "vomited out Jonah upon the dry land."
He had stomached that Preacher as long as he possibly could!
By the way, it is
also quite likely that Jonah was expelled from the fish at or
near Joppa, the very point of origin for his runaway journey!
And Jesus too was raised not far at all from where He had been
crucified! John 19:41 tells us: "Now in
the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the
garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid."
There Jesus was buried and raised!
Thank God for the
Bible account of Jonah!
But even more so,
thank God for the Truth of Jesus (The Greater Than Jonah) Who
vicariously died for you and me! Was literally buried for three
days and nights! And Who bodily arose
"for our justification!" Romans 4:25
And He lives yet
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
After the "whale"
incident Jonah preached, obeying the Lord!
unto Nineveh, that great city,
and preach unto
it the preaching that I bid thee," said the Lord in Jonah
Eight short words ---
"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." Jonah 3:4
thing, the real miracle of the Book of Jonah, is that
"the people of Nineveh believed God, and
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of
them even to the least of them." Jonah 3:5
And even more
astounding is the response of the King!
"For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his
throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him
with sackcloth, and sat in ashes." Jonah 3:6
Revival came to
Nineveh, real Revival!
"And he (the King) caused it to be
proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the
king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor
flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but
let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily
unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and
from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell
if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce
anger, that we perish not?" Jonah 3:7-9
Two things we are
here told: Multitudes believed God ... and turned from their
what the people of Thessalonica did under the preaching of the
Apostle Paul too! He marveled at ...
"what manner of entering in we had unto you, and
how ye turned to God
from idols ...." 1st Thessalonians 1:9
They turned to
God ... belief!
They turned from
idols ... repentance!
These are the
exact things the Assyrians did in Jonah's day!
repentance of the people diverted God's great Hand of judgment!
"And God saw their works, that they turned
from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had
said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."
that Revival for a minute, the one in Jonah's day.
What was the
POWER behind the preaching of the Prophet?
was not very pleasing.
He at first (and
maybe even at last) did NOT want to be there in Nineveh
He apparently did
not even want to see those folks get right with God!
Again, what made
his message so effective?
The Holy Spirit?
The message of
Nineveh's impending doom? Probably!
providential will? Surely!
But I believe
there's something else!
No doubt "word"
about Jonah's "experience" has traveled!
Folks began to
learn of his ordeal.
I'm of course
speaking of his descent into the belly of the whale, his being
buried there for three days and nights, and his miraculous
"expulsion" back on dry land!
of Jonah no doubt played a powerful role in the supernatural
fruit his mission produced!
overwhelmed at that "story," the actual historical "account" of
what amounted to Jonah's death, burial and resurrection, at
least in "type" or "symbol!"
Oh, I just
The One of Whom
Jonah is a picture!
God's very Son!
He was familiar
with the epoch Jonah endured! He said:
"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." Matthew 12:40
Do you know why
the multitudes have believed on Jesus?
Why the Gospel
story has had such power over the ages?
Why tens of
thousands throughout history have repented and been saved by the
Grace of God?
The same two
reasons that prevailed at Nineveh!
Judgement! "For the wages of sin is
death." Romans 6:23a
Number two, the
real power behind all preaching, the "heart" of our message:
"That Christ died for our sins according
to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose
again the third day according to the Scriptures." 1st
The Power that
drives the Gospel ... in fact the very essence of the Gospel ...
is Jesus' Death, Burial and Resurrection!
No man is ever
saved until he, by faith, sees Jesus as his own personal Saviour,
the One Who died for Him and was raised again for Him and lives
eternally at the Father's Right Hand!
But what is this
"linkage" between real repentance and real trust or belief in
God and His Word?
Jesus shows us.
"Now after that John (the Baptist) was put
in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the
kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the
kingdom of God is at hand:
believe the gospel." Mark 1:14-15
The power behind
Jonah's preaching was his experience with that great fish, his
victory over such an awesome animal!
And the power
behind the Gospel is Jesus' experience with Death on that old
rugged Cross, His victory over such a universal enemy!
Thank God for the
Without It, none
of us would have ... or even could have ... ever been saved!
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and
shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9
power rested in His "picture" of the Gospel Story!
And yet today
Salvation's power rests there too, in Jesus' Gospel Story!
Again Paul best
said it: "For I am not ashamed of
the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of
God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the
Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Jonah was an
He perhaps was instrumental in the
greatest revival in the Old Testament!
Repentance fell on the whole city of
With a population into the tens of
thousands, the metropolis believed God and turned from their
The strange thing
is that Jonah was not pleased!
Jonah 3:10 reports that "God saw
their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God
repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto
them; and he did it not," we are immediately told
that Jonah was "very angry!" Jonah 3:11
Here's the whole
verse: "But it displeased Jonah
exceedingly, and he was very angry."
So angry that he
"talked back" to the Lord, saying something like "I told you
so! I knew they would repent ... and that Thou wouldest forgive
Mad over sinners
getting right with God, Jonah still had not lost his sense of
pleasure and delight!
He was absolutely
thrilled over a little gourd plant that miraculously grew
overnight ... to shield him from the scorching heat of the sun!
"And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and
made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow
over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was
exceeding glad of the gourd." Jonah 4:6
because sinners believed!
But now "calm"
because a little tree appeared!
environmentalists have been proud of him?
Let me word it
this way: Jonah grieved over sinners
who had repented!
But now, for a
few minutes, let's think about One Who is "Greater than Jonah,"
the Lord Jesus Christ.
He too has
presided over great Revival!
He is the Author
(as well as the Finisher) of our salvation!
He did more than
preach to bring about our deliverance!
He died a
substitutionary Death on our behalf!
And now, when a
soul falls under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God,
repents of his or her sin and believes on Jesus ... the Lord not
only saves him, but also rejoices over him too!
Jesus delights in
souls being saved!
He even said so
in Luke 15 ... 3 times!
Luke 15:7 ---
"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall
be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over
ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."
Luke 15:10 ---
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in
the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
And Luke 15:32
--- "It was meet that we should make
merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive
again; and was lost, and is found."
Yes, even the
Pharisees realized concerning Jesus:
"This Man receiveth sinners!" Luke 15:2
That verb "receiveth"
("prosdechomai") has the idea of accepting someone with
anticipation and eagerness! Face to face!
We today should
be so glad that God, unlike Jonah, is not willing that sinners
should perish ... but come to repentance!
The Old Testament
even goes so far as to picture God happily singing over His
Own! "The LORD thy God in the midst of
thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee
with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with
singing." Zephaniah 3:17
Glory to God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The last we see of that great Old
Testament Prophet named Jonah he ... "went
out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there
made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might
see what would become of the city." Jonah 4:5
however, he is grumbling!
In fact, his last
recorded words sadly were: "It
better for me to die than to live"
and "I do well to be angry, even
unto death." Jonah 4:8-9
forty days of preaching ... with tremendous results!
In this respect
... how very different Jonah is from Jesus!
Jesus too left
the world in which He had ministered!
Our Lord left the
Mount of Olives, after "showing Himself
alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of
them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the
kingdom of God." Acts 1:3
Do you see that
Jonah and his
forty days of preaching repentance!
Then Jesus and
His forty days of proving the Resurrection!
Then they both
(these Prophets from Galilee) sat down!
Jonah sat outside
the city, I think still waiting for fire to fall!
And Jesus sat at
the Father's Right Hand, making intercession for His Own
children! Listen to what God the Father told the freshly
ascended Jesus to do: "Sit thou at my
right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
And out of
Jonah's mouth came these final words: "It
better for me to die than to live"
and "I do well to be angry, even
unto death." (Jonah 4:8-9) Pretty morbid, even for
Yet out of the
ascended Jesus' mouth flow glorious words like these as He prays
for you and me: "Father, I pray for them:
I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me;
for they are thine. Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we
are. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the
world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. Sanctify
them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Father, Thou art
in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that
the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory
which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one,
even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be
made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast
sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I
will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I
am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for
thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."
These Scripture selections are from John 17, Jesus' High
In summary, Jonah
and Jesus each end their earthly ministries with "forty day"
periods of time!
Each then "sat
down" ... due to their finished tasks!
Then each spoke!
Jonah focusing on
death ... and Jesus on life, eternal life!
I'm seeing more
and more why Jesus is called "the greater than Jonah!"
Thank God for
what our ascended Lord is doing right now!
How blessed we
Believers really are ... all because of Jesus!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Book of Jonah ends with the prophet
simply "disappearing" from the Bible record! We never hear
of him again in all the subsequent Old Testament Books!
Of course he is mentioned again in the New
Testament, by Jesus Himself!
Jonah has vanished ... and he was mad (angry)
when last seen!
But the great Antitype to Jonah, the Lord
Jesus Christ ... although He too vanished after His Death,
Burial, Resurrection and Ascension ... is coming again!
He too will be "angry," righteously indignant
and judging iniquity when He returns to earth! I think
Isaiah has Him in mind when he wrote:
"Who is this that cometh from Edom,
with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in
his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that
speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art
thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that
treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress
alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I
will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and
their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will
stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is
in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." Isaiah
Of course before Jesus literally comes to
earth, He will appear in "the air!" He will "rapture" away
His saints who have believed on His Name! That phase of
His Return will be joyful, not angry!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell