Did you know there are only four verses in the book of Jonah that talk about the big fish swallowing him? This story isn’t about a big fish; it’s about God’s big forgiveness. Jonah experienced that forgiveness when he was conveniently yet grossly vomited onto the shoreline. Jonah was pointed right at Nineveh, but he felt they didn’t deserve to receive God’s love. “To Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry” (Jonah 4:1). Forgiveness was great for Jonah but not for others. He was refocused on God but resistant to following God.
The devil is good at getting us to be disgusted by how God gives grace, as if God forgiving those we deem super sinful somehow devalues the forgiveness he gives us. It doesn’t! Don’t look down on someone because he or she sins differently than you. All sin destroys our relationship with the Almighty. Look up to God, thanking him that his grace is universal, unstoppable, and can heal anything you’ve ever done wrong.
Jonah had it wrong. God’s big forgiveness didn’t get weaker by giving it to the people of Nineveh. God’s grace proved its worth, value, and validity by blasting away the sins of an entire city dedicated to evil.
When you see people a bit rough around the spiritual edges, don’t look down on them. Pray for them that they might know what you know . . . God has big forgiveness for all sinners. We’ve been treated better than we deserve! Let’s treat others the same.