Something to think about
I love the unflattering pictures of those we might otherwise consider ‘heroes’ of the Bible: passages that make Scriptural texts feel more like candid snapshots of real life rather than posed portraits. All the times that Jesus’ disciples fall asleep, fall out and put their foot in it encourage me that God doesn’t require me to be perfect before I’m welcome in his family!
Jonah 4 is another such example. If the book had finished after chapter three, we’d have seen a single episode of transformation for Jonah as well as Ninevah: the cowardly prophet who first ran away turning around and following God’s difficult call, with wonderful results. Instead of a happily-ever-after ending though, we’re given an insight into Jonah’s angry struggle with God’s outrageous grace. ‘It’s not fair’, rages the prophet, ‘that you should forgive these awful people.’ It’s only human to feel affronted when a lack of ‘fairness’ seems to favour those we feel don’t deserve it
But like children feeling sibling resentment, we can rest in the truth that there really is enough of God’s love to go around. There’s infinitely more grace than we could use, even if some seem to need more than their fair share!