Jonah, The Reluctant Missionary
D. Peter Burrows
The Book of Jonah is the one book in the Bible to which Jesus refers as revealing his own understanding of his mission: “I give you one sign, the sign of Jonah.” With Jonah Jesus reveals his own mind and plan, and ties his life and work firmly to the tradition of Israel, and Israel's task of making the Lord God known to the world.
Jesus’ sign of Jonah is in fact the sacrifice which both Jonah and Jesus make of their lives in order to save the nations (Gentiles), and this book presents a self-consciousness of Jesus as the anointed High Priest (the older priestly Messiah rather than the later kingly one). It explores the sacrifice on the cross as the liturgy of the high priest on the Day of Atonement—but, again like Jonah—a sacrifice for the nations. At the heart of the argument is the belief that the "best" Christianity is one that is engaged in loving and respectful Mission—God’s mission - just as the best of Israel's life is when it is spent in accomplishing the Mission of God as the Suffering Servant of the Lord.
978 0 85244 652 2