Our summer sermon series on books of the Bible continues July 17–August 7 with a deep dive into a book about a deep dive: Jonah. It’s a familiar tale, but over the course of four weeks we hope to show you that Jonah is more than just a big fish story.

The Book of Jonah was likely written in the fifth or fourth century BCE (“Before Christian Era”). Jonah is considered a prophetic book, but it is completely unique among the prophets. A casual glance at Jonah compared to Isaiah or Jeremiah and the difference is apparent: instead of a collection of oracles attributed to God and written out in verse, the whole book of Jonah is a prose narrative – a story about the prophet Jonah himself. Jonah is also unique in that it frequently uses cartoonish images and slapstick humor to emphasize its main themes.

Partly because of its unique form and tone, Jonah is an incredibly relatable book for people today. Exciting and even outrageous, this little book has so much to say about repentance and forgiveness. Jonah is a book about fear and finding our purpose. It’s about resentment, a thirst for justice, and the sometimes infuriating broadness of God’s mercy.