Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
- Jonah 1:4-6
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
- Mark 4:35-38
As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.
- Luke 11:29-32
I wrote a post earlier this year about the Sign of Jonah (LINK). It talked about people who call for miraculous signs and then dismiss God, thinking He does not exist, because they are wonderful people and God should listen to them and do as they say. It is something done too often these days.
But I was studying for a Sunday school class last Sunday on the book of Jonah, and I discovered the parallel between Jonah and Jesus, both asleep while the boat was on the verge of sinking in rough waters.
And the crew of the ship awoke the man of God to ask whether they cared if everyone drowned. I love it when there are similarities in stories in the Bible. In Jonah’s case, God placed Him in a deep sleep. In Jesus’ case, He knew there was no reason to fear the storm, so He had no problem sleeping. When Jesus spoke of the Sign of Jonah, could the disciples have remembered awakening Jesus and how that was just like the story of Jonah?
There was a sign on that boat, and the disciples missed it, most likely. They were too busy cowering in fear, terrified that Jesus had power over the wind and waves. The crew of the ship that carried Jonah toward Tarshish knew who calmed the wind and waves. That is why they woke up Jonah in the first place.
And one last thought, if Jonah “worship the God of heaven” as he identifies himself in Jonah 1:9, why was he running away from God?
Never mind answering the question. We often run away from responsibilities, especially those things God commands us to do. Jonah is not alone with that issue.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.