As a child in Sunday school I remember seeing the walls lined with beautiful and colorful pictures of Daniel in the lion den, Jonah and the whale, the parting of the Red Sea, and many other miraculous events. When I was young I never thought to question whether or not those events really happened. Without a doubt I believed they were true and today after all these years I still do.
Like most people, as years went by, more and more voices from the world began to speak up criticizing what the Bible has to say, especially when it comes to the miraculous. Remember those voices? They caused many people to begin to doubt. Did that happen to you?
Through the years I have heard and read many attacks on the validity of the Biblical account of Jonah. On the other hand I have heard dozens of sermons and read commentaries where the story is defending by pointing to modern day Jonah's. What do I mean by modern day Jonah's? These are stories about men who fell off of whaling vessels only to be swallowed by the whales they were trying to harpoon. After a day or two of continuing the hunt fellow crew members would harpoon the sea beast only to find their friend alive inside the creature.
We don't need to have evidence of a modern day Jonah surviving in a whale to validate what the Bible says about Jonah. Nor we do we need to see a modern day miracle to validate any of the miraculous accounts in the Scripture such as the feeding of thousands of people with a few loaves and fish or Daniel surviving the night in the lion den.
When it comes to Jonah, regardless of the fact many claim it is a work of fiction, Scripture in both the Old and New Testament refers to him as a very real historical figure who experienced the things described in the book that bears his name.
In Second Kings chapter fourteen verse twenty-five not only is the rebellious prophet referred to as a real person whose story is true, but it also shares the name of his hometown.
In the New Testament, we find Christ himself talking about Jonah. At a time when Jesus was being harassed by the religious leaders (which happened frequently), they asked Him to show them a sign or some sort of proof that He had come from God. They wanted a sign that He had the right to be saying and doing what he was saying and doing.
The response of Christ is all that I need to validate the truth of the story of Jonah. Jesus said something along these lines, "An evil and faithless generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."
Let that sink in for a moment. Not only was he calling the leaders of the religious establishment evil and faithless, but he said that Jonah was a real person.
Jesus continued by saying, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Think about it. If the story of Jonah was an allegory or some work of fiction, why would Christ compare his resurrection to it? That would make no sense whatsoever?
If we reduce the story of Jonah to an allegory wouldn't that also place the account of the death of Christ and His resurrection in the same category?
In my view everything hinges on the reality of Christ rising from the grave. If Christ did not rise, would you and I have any hope for a resurrection? Would we have hope beyond the grave? What would you hold on to?
What does the resurrection mean for you?
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
Writer, audio blogger, and guitarist James Flanders not only believes the story of Jonah to be true, but also believes what Scripture teaches about the wonderful redmeptive work of Christ. You can hear many of his Bible teaching audios on YouTube and other sites as well.
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