Jonah = Y (Why?)
It’s a perception from basic math:
miraculous visuals + adulthood's pride - humility = mistaking the book of Jonah as a "child's story." But this alleged child's story is dedicated to childish behavior, regardless of age. There’s a "whale” of riddle inside this narrative, which releases the potential for a man’s heart to escape its own inner trappings, oceans not included. We simply need to solve it! And to get to X, we must accept that Jonah = Y (why?).
The story of Jonah, minus the miracles: a prophet ordered by God to give a message to another nation. He refuses at first, but eventually does.
So Jonah = Y (why?) Here’s the riddle: Why didn’t Jonah want to go? How come?
For the sake of expediency, many conclude that Jonah was afraid. But that’s not accurate nor logical after considering his profile. We’re talking about a guy who was asleep inside a boat with his hysterical friends, during a horrific storm (sound familiar?). Fear? Not hardly. We are also witnessing a man who volunteered (sacrificed) himself for everyone else’s comfort, based on his insight that it was his attitude God was upset with; and he was proven correct (the storm stopped). Cowardly? Oblivious? It just doesn’t add up! So I ask again, as we’ve canceled out the basic traits, why didn’t Jonah want to go?
What readers are witnessing is a tug of war: the fruits of a standoff between God’s plan and Jonah’s non-cooperative effort to sabotage it. Nowhere does the Bible suggest Jonah expected to be safely swallowed and contained by a great fish. So let’s face it; this was a suicide attempt! It was a willingness to die for God’s non-accomplishment. And critical observation will reveal that the 3-day period inside this great fish was not mere detention; it was a struggle of determinations! Proof of a more cause-and-effect reality is that Jonah bailed himself out as soon as he repented. But for what? What exactly was this profitable plan? And how did Jonah pre-determine what it was?
Now let’s SOLVE FOR X:
"So he prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm (Jonah 4:2)”
Jonah was a prophet during God’s on-again-off-again relationship with the Israelites, due to their unrepenting attitude (not sin itself). And Jonah didn’t want to embarrass their non-apologetic investment. Their gamble to boycott accountability, and force God to negotiate HIS law with their "just-get-over-it” policy was about to loose! God’s merciful demonstration, toward another people, was in the making. And Jonah pre-knew it! The moral of this story is a supernatural visual and an animation for everyone to witness the achievement of true redemption. Without bondage, it’s so easy to be forgiven and internally free. Meanwhile, a valid guilt demands defensive accessories like self-hallucinations, political affirmations, and on-call explanations forever. Who can afford Apologize-a-phobia spiritually?
Over time, accountability has become more of a political hobby when God requires so much more. So that storm in Jonah’s story occurs now inside a conflicted heart. The question becomes, "Will we address the reason why? Will today’s Christian follow Jonah’s example, knowing and admitting their behavioral role?” Finally, will the children of God follow the example of the other nation, facilitating a bondage-free atmosphere of authentic self-reflection? Make no mistake that if we don’t, if we haven’t, the punishment is an invisible one. They will be sentenced to live in a "bubble" about the size of a "whale.”