The Book of Jonah is not primarily about Jonah and a big fish. While those elements are important, Jonah’s account centers around the compassion of God, not only for the people of Israel, but for people throughout the earth—even Israel’s worst enemies!
(3 minutes) READ Jonah 1-4
God called Jonah to go to his enemies and call them to turn away from their sin, but Jonah refused. Instead, he ran away. Even in the midst of his disobedience, God sought Jonah and got his attention before sending him to deliver his message to the Ninevites. Later, God sent Jesus to His enemies to call us to repentance. Jesus willingly obeyed. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin.
Help your kids see that God’s love extends to the nations and that like Nineveh, we are all enemies of God undeserving of grace and mercy. Jesus is greater than Jonah. (Matt. 12:41) Jesus came calling all sinners, Jews and Gentiles, to repentance. He didn’t only bring a message, He truly loved us. He submitted to God’s will with joy and laid down His own life for our sins. God shows His mercy in the gospel, forgiving those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. God sends us out, like Jonah, to share the good news of salvation.
(1 minute) REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.
Gospel Project Big Picture Question: What is God like? God is slow to anger, merciful, and loving.
Memory Verse: Joel 2:13 Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
(1 minute) PRAY and thank God for offering forgiveness of sin.
Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 14 - Session 2.