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Limitless Grace: Jonah 4

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?” 5 Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. 6 Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. 7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” 10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”—Jonah 4 (ESV)

Icebreaker - What makes you angry, and why? What makes you happiest, and why?

Read Jonah 4:5–11

Question - Jonah leaves Nineveh and waits at a safe distance “to see what would
become of the city” (v 5). What do you think Jonah was hoping for?

Question - What is surprising about Jonah’s hope considering Jonah 3:10?

Question - In this last chapter, what things make Jonah very angry? What things
make him very happy?

Question - What does this show us about Jonah?

Read Mark 11:15–17

Question - What made Jesus very angry? What does this tell us about Him?
Note particularly in verse 17 that God intended the temple to be a house of prayer
“for all nations.” People doing business in the temple made Jesus furious. He cares
very deeply about the true worship of God.

Question - How were the Lord’s priorities, and the cause of His anger, the opposite
of Jonah’s priorities, and what made him angry?
The things that make us most angry and happy offer insight into what we care about.

Question - What things can our churches sometimes become over-passionate about?

Question - What do you think prompts us to care about the wrong things?

Question - What are the signs that a church shares God’s priorities?

What you get most happy and angry about are indicators of what you most value. If
you’ve been valuing other things over Christ Jesus, remember that nothing helps us
value other things as much as simply understanding and appreciating who He is.

Question - How will you spend more time looking at Christ in His word this week?
How will you call Him to mind during your day more often?

Question - What do you need to remember about the Lord Jesus when you feel

Question - Have a look at Jonah’s response in verse 8. What do you make of it?

Question - What do verses 9 and 11 have in common?

Question - What is the correct answer to God’s first question (v 9)? Why?

Question - Does Jonah answer correctly?

Question - What is the correct answer to God’s second question (v 11)?

Question - What reasons does God give why this is the correct answer?

Question - We don’t get to hear Jonah’s answer to God’s final question. Why do you
think the book of Jonah ends with this unanswered question left hanging?

Dig Deeper – The Prodigal Son
There are several striking similarities between the book of Jonah and the parable of
the prodigal son, which Jesus told.

Read Luke 15:11–32

Pick out the similarities.

Question - What’s the cliffhanger at the end of both stories?

Question - What’s the good news about God in this passage?

Questions to ask yourself:
Do I tend to get more emotional about sport/shopping/something else than by the
fact that people around me don’t know the real God?

What prompts the greatest joy in me: news of someone becoming a Christian or the
promise of a fun evening out?

Am I concerned about the people of my town/city hearing about Jesus? What am I
doing to make sure people hear about Him?

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