Jonah: The Reluctant Servant

n02020_jonah

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Age Group

Youth

Brief Description

Intersection includes complete resources for teaching both younger and older youth, including learner’s materials, teaching guides, and handouts. The teaching guide is options-based, so teachers can customize sessions to match their favorite approach.

“Jonah: The Reluctant Servant”

The Book of Jonah deals with a reluctant prophet and his call to preach to the inhabitants of Ninevah. Most youth will recall the familiar story of Jonah and the whale. The Book of Jonah is also about obeying God, receiving a second chance, recognizing mistakes, feeling genuine remorse, making sincere apologies, receiving forgiveness, and loving others–even those we find difficult to love.

Session One: Though a servant of God, Jonah seemed determined to follow his own path by choosing to disobey and run from God. We also face the tension between following God and being disobedient–choosing our way even when we know what is right. When we are disobedient, choose our own way, and run from God, we show little faith in the wisdom of God’s plan for life.

Session Two: Following his first object lesson–living inside a fish for three days–Jonah recognizes his sin and prays. Remarkably, his prayer involves thanksgiving and gratitude rather than a plea for deliverance from terrible circumstances. Young people can express gratitude and praise rather than praying only about their own needs or dilemmas.

Session Three: Our story presents two instances of sorrow-the silent, but active, repentance of Jonah, and the vocal, dynamic remorse of the Ninevites. This passage includes genuine remorse, sincere apologies, repentance, and forgiveness. Ours is a culture of finger-pointing, blaming others, and failure to take responsibility. In this passage we encounter those who are not afraid to take responsibility for their actions by saying, “I’m sorry.”

Session Four: Knowing God to be gracious, loving, and merciful, Jonah feared Nineveh would be spared from destruction. The Book of Jonah is the story of God’s attempt to teach Jonah about inclusive love for all people. Like some youth, Jonah seemed unable to love, or even to like, those different from him. Rather than stereotyping others or allowing themselves to be stereotyped, teens can see all people as unique and created in the image of God.

by David Woody

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The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

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