Jonah and the New Testament 2


Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”

Reading 1 Jon 3:1-10
Gospel Lk 10:38-42

“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”

In Jonah’s journey he finally does reach his destination and preaches Gods message of repentance to Nineveh, while in the new testament we are confronted with the story of Martha and Mary. That story of Martha and Mary has a lot to do with how to serve the Lord. It commonly is interpreted that Martha takes an active form of service while Mary’s is contemplative. How do these relate to Jonah? In preaching his message to the people of Nineveh, Jonah does serve the Lord. His preaching is active service, but how he goes about his assignment tells what he was thinking. Jonah spends only a single day preaching to the people. He delivers the message of God, though half heartedly. While he preaches they repent, he hopes they do not so that God might destroy them. In Martha’s service her actions are geared towards the Lord with her whole heart, and Mary’s attention to Jesus words is total devotion. Jonah goes through the motions, but neither his actions or his thought are turned toward God.

“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,”

Martha and Mary each do this, though in their own way. Although Jonah boasts of his God, his love of God is not expressed with his whole heart, being, strength and mind. Jonah is selfish!

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