Both Jonah and Ebenezer Scrooge believed they were superior to others and were more deserving of God’s blessings and favor. Are there any people, or groups of people, who you tend to look down upon and view as less deserving of God’s grace than yourself? Be honest! How do the events of Christmas challenge this mindset?
Jonah reluctantly delivered God’s message to the Ninevites. Why didn’t he want to give this message of impending destruction to the people? Why did he leave town and set up a shelter to watch the city? How would you describe Jonah’s attitude?
In A Christmas Carol, Dickens uses 3 ghosts to shake Ebenezer Scrooge out of his “scrooginess”. In Jonah 4, God prepares and uses 3 items (a plant, a worm, and a scorching east wind) in an attempt to shake Jonah out of his “scrooginess”. What truth was the Lord trying to teach Jonah? What character trait was Jonah sorely lacking? Do you think Jonah finally got it?
In what practical ways can you show the compassion of Jesus to others this season? How can you be more proactive in sharing the gracious, merciful, patient, abounding, and forgiving love of God with those who don’t yet see it?