Abandon Ship

Jonah 3:1–5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29–31; Mark 1:14–20

Jonah may have been the most ful preacher in history. He preached and an entire city repented, and a large city, at that. The church celebrates 4000 in one day as a supreme , yet cranky Jonah exceeded that by far.

We often question and scorn Jonah for running away from his . It would be similar to you being ed to North Korea to preach, “repent.” The desti is a scary place for such a preacher.

Nineveh was known for the cruelty visited upon the defeated. People were impaled, beheaded, “stretched”. They worshipped a number of gods. They were enemies of Israel, and they were not fris of God. It was a good place to avoid.

Jonah just followed his common sense. It seemed suicidal to go to Nineveh. There seemed no promise of safety by God, so why go?

Plus, the demise of Nineveh seemed to be a positive for Israel. With the fall of Nineveh, perhaps things would be better for Israel.

If Jonah’s logic were to be followed, then the world would be lost. This is why Paul’s for a sort of “disengagement” is very important to evangelism.

Often, going to those crazy places is what we are ed to do. There are people from many Christian denomis that willing went where they are not welcomed to the . In many of those same countries (and more besides), there are indigenous believers whose very lives are in danger for the common faith they hold with us.

Holding too firmly onto our understanding of the way things “should be” is generally us being too tied to the ways of the world. Holding on too firmly to the world often blinds us to the on our that God has made.

Simon, Andrew, James, and John did not hold too tightly onto the world. Although the don’t tell us such, it would be inhuman if the 4 men felt nothing as they left their livelihood, families, and much of their identity. There was still something about Jesus that caused them to release the world and follow him.

※Reflection※

  • What would you do or where would you go if you believed God was sing you?
  • What are some of the ways of the world that hold Christians back from reaching the world for Christ?

※Prayer※

Lord, give us the to forgo the world in whatever ways you us. Give us the discernment to recognize your will and your . Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.