Its Just as Much for Christians as it is Non-Christians

The story of Jonah shows us that this gospel of the cross – the good news that God relentlessly pursues sinners in order to rescue them – is just as much for Christians as it is for non-Christians.  Jonah’s life proves this, because Jonah, who knows God, obviously needs divine deliverance as much as anyone else in the story.  In fact, his need for rescue gets far more emphasis than anyone else’s.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 154

It’s Not Just Atheists nor Agnostics Doing This…

It’s not just atheists and agnostics and other non-Christians who write God off.  Christians too, can put him on the shelf.  In fact, every time we sin, we’re in that moment dismissing God.  ANd it’s always because in that moment, we fail to understand the size of our sin, the size of God’s grace and the size of God’s mission.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 144

God’s Message to His People in Jonah

Jonah is the only prophetic book in the Bible that focuses on the prophet himself rather than on his message.  Jonah’s life is God’s message to his people.

What is that message?  God’s message to his people through the life of this prophet is that we’re all like Jonah.  We’re all great sinners – and God is a great Savior.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 143

Its A Story that Reveals God’s Heart

In unforgettable events and imagery, the story of Jonah reveals how perfectly patient God pursue fugitives – a God who has ever right to give up on rebels like us and to move on, but doesn’t.  It’s a story that reveals forever the heart of God for sinners from every race, every age and every social class.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 139

Jonah Doesn’t Understand the Promiscuity of God’s Love

Jonah doesn’t understand the promiscuity of God’s love.  The fact that God’s love is unconditionally deep and wide and offered to all people without distinction frustrates Jonah.  But God comes back and essentially says, “You don’t understand my love?  I don’t understand yours! Just look, Jonah – you value plants more than people!”

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 134

God’s Heart Is For a Multitude of People

This unusual ending (Jonah 4:11) prompts us to do what God is leading Jonah to do – to compare God’s heart with our own.  Jonah’s heart – for purely selfish reasons – is reacting with intense emotion about a single, short-lived plant whose growth and nurture he had nothing to do with.  But God’s heart is for a multitude of people whom he created, and who will live forever in eternity, either with God or in hell.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 130