Jonah 1


  • We’re talking about Jonah 1. Matt pointed out that the writer of Jonah relies heavily on irony/humor to make his point. What are some ways people in our culture use humor/irony/satire to make a point? Can you think of any example (media, movies, music, art, etc)?
  • Why is this approach effective?


  • Just for something different: Have someone in the group who was there on Sunday share their version of Jonah chapter 1 without looking the story up in the Bible. In other words, have someone recap the story beginning with God calling Jonah and ending with Jonah in the belly of a fish at the end of chapter 1. Then when that person is done, other group members can add details they remember from the story that the storyteller may have missed (again withoutlooking).
  • How important is it to you that it be determined whether or not the story of Jonah is literally true or simply a parable/allegory? In other words, what is at stake (if anything) in this debate about Jonah being an“historical account” or simply a “fable with a deeper meaning”? What are the dangers associated with either perspective?
  • Can you identify with Jonah’s desire to escape? If so, what are the circumstances that tend to prompt that “escape mentality” within you?
  • What did you think about the statement, “When God’s calling you to do something or say something, you can bet that there will almost always be a ship conveniently headed in the opposite direction?” Can you think of any examples where that was true for you?
  • God was able to use Jonah even in spite of his running away from God. The sailors are a good example of this because even though Jonah was disobeying God, he ended up leading the sailors (unintentionally) to know who God is. Is this surprising to you? What does this mean for our own lives and how God uses our mistakes?
  • Matt commented how Jonah would rather die than repent or change. Without sharing too personally, does that posture remind you of anyone you know? What thoughts/emotions does thinking about that person stir in you?
  • Matt reminded us that the writer of Jonah tells the story in such a way that we are meant to find ourselves in it. Is there a particular part of Jonah 1 that you most related with? In other words, where do you find yourself in this story? In light of this, is there anything you need to change or do differently?


The real application of this message has the potential to be pretty personal. If you haven’t already, take some time this week to reflect on the “Jonah in you”. In other words, as we move through Lent, let’s create some intentional space where we invite God to examine our hearts:

  • Is there an attitude that needs confronting? A behavior that needs to change? A priority that needs refocused?


Open Up Our Eyes

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Matt Carder

Matt Carder

Matt Carder is the founding pastor of Commonway. A 2002 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, Matt backpacked solo to over 30 countries after graduation, before returning home to marry his college sweetheart, Liz. Commonway was birthed under his leadership in 2005 at Union Chapel, and was planted as an independent church in August of 2011. Matt graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2018. He enjoys each new life adventure with his wife and two children.