Jonah: A Picture of Jesus.


“But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that [were] in the ship into the sea, to lighten [it] of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.” -Jonah 1:4-5

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” -Mark 4:37​
  • Both Jonah and Jesus were sleeping on ships during a storm tempest.
“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

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” -Mark 4:38​
  • Both Jonah and Jesus were the substitute sacrifice to calm the wrath of God, in the place of others.
“So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.” -Jonah 1:15

“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​
  • Both Jonah and Jesus died, went to hell, and was resurrected.
“Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hellcried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.” -Jonah 2:1-2

“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​

Not only does Jesus (by progressive revelation) clarify what type of fish swallowed Jonah (to emphasize the lesser and greater), Jonah clarifies where Jesus went, and Jesus clarifies where it was. Jesus went to a specific place in hell (which is in the center of the earth) known as Paradise/Abraham’s bosom (clarified in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man), to take the righteous who have died (before the cross) up to heaven. Also, Jonah is the greatest Old Testament picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“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. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, [It is] better for me to die than to live. And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, [even] unto death. Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?” -Jonah 4:6-11​

Jesus said the “only” sign the generation will have is the sign of Jonah. What Jesus was really saying is that a man (Jonah) who hated the people he preached to and wanted them to die, was forced to preach, and Nineveh get saved. Jesus, who loved the people He preached to, and wanted them to live, willingly preaches, and the people are hardened in their hearts. God cared more for the cattle than Jonah cared for the souls of the people.

“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​