Jonah was in a fish! It was dark in there! Him being spit out put him back into light. This signals the time Jesus would spend in the grave. The first mention of Jonah is in 2 Kings 14: 25 where he is credited with a prophesy that came true, the story of the Book of Jonah would have been after this.
The thing that leaves you hanging about Jonah is what happened to him? Did he repent of the harsh attitude, did he go back to Israel, or did he just stay bitter?
Peter was identified as “bar Jonah” or son of Jonah. It would be a stretch to say they were related! Matthew 16: 17 does not seem to imply that Jesus was being “funny”, so that probably was Peter’s name. Peter may have had similar traits as Jonah (hard-headed, impulsive, teachable but slow to change), so we can hope that Jonah returned to God like Peter did.
Three– Three days and three nights is the most notable part of Jonah’s ordeal. That is because it has three references in the New Testament – two different times in Matthew (12: 41 + 16: 4) and one repeat in Luke (11: 29). Jesus offered it as the only sign from heaven that unbelieving Jews would get. I noticed that there were three “God provided” after Jonah preached to Nineveh – the plant, the worm, and the wind. There was also a three day walk across the city.
The study of Solomon, Jesus walking on water, and this one, all have connections to the festivals that happen in the seventh month”. (Jonah is read as an example of repenting and reaching out to a Gentile nation.)
End and Start – Jonah’s time in the fish ended his disobedience and started his journey to face his fear of being labeled a “false prophet” if Nineveh was not destroyed. At this time in history, Assyria was oppressing Israel and would send a replacement population to occupy Samaria. So, Jonah had serious reasons, in his mind, why he was not going to do it (hatred of Assyria, fear of being a false prophet). Even though other prophets had dealings with foreign nations this was the first prophet that was specifically sent to an enemy nation telling them to repent!
FURTHER THOUGHT – Have you done a “Jonah”? Have you ever tried to run from something that Jesus wanted you to do? How did it end?http://clipart.christiansunite.com/Bible_Characters_Clipart/Jonah_Clipart/