For quite a few years when I was just reading the Bible without a set reading plan, I enjoyed a break from reading the books of history after Second Kings, moving to the prophets. And our first is Jonah, who was mentioned back in 2 Kings 14.
Note that the little story of Jonah is masterfully written. Little details poke out everywhere. Jonah has a downward journey. He goes down from Jerusalem to Joppa, then down again into the hold of the boat, and then down into the underworld of the ocean. He wasn’t just being disobedient. He was saying, “I’m turning in my prophet’s mantle.”
Bob Deffinbaugh: “Let’s face it, don’t you find that our text has reversed the heroes and the villains? ? we would have expected Jonah to be the hero, while the heathen sailors would certainly have been expected to be the villains. This was certainly the perspective of Jonah, and of the Israelites, whom he typified. Yet in our text it is the sailors who pray, while Jonah does not. The sailors sought to deal with sin on the ship, not Jonah. The sailors end up worshiping God, [Jonah grumbled against God//not Jonah]. The sailors have compassion on Jonah, while he seems to have little concern for the danger in which he has put them. Clearly this chapter turns our expectations inside-out.”
Even the fish comes out better than Jonah. He obeyed. The pagans of Nineveh and their king also come out looking better than Jonah. They repent.
This is the most famous antiphonal psalm. If it won’t bother anyone around you while you are listening, I invite you to join me on the antiphonal response: His love is eternal.
Jesus’ high priestly prayer is considered the pinnacle of the upper room discourse.
GNT Translation notes:
Jon. 1:16 [NET The men feared the Lord greatly, and earnestly vowed to offer lavish sacrifices to the Lord.//This made the sailors so afraid of the Lord that they offered a sacrifice and promised to serve him.]
John 17:3 [I, the writer, agree and add that, “//And] eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent.[” Jesus was still praying,]
21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be [joined as one with//in] us, just as you are [joined with//in] me and I am [joined with//in] you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
23 I [joined as one with//in] them and you [joined with//in] me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.
26 I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be [one with//in] them.”
NLT Translation notes:
Ps. 136:6Give thanks to him who placed the earth [upon/?in between/among] the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
John 17:1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and
said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify [Me? ]your Son[,] so [that I//he] can give glory back to you.
2 For you have given [Me/him] authority over everyone. [I give//He gives] eternal life to each one you have given [to Me//him].
3 [Parenthesis by John:] And this is the way to have [that] eternal life?to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, [you have given me your power. Now protect them by your power and for the sake of your reputation.//you have given me your name;b now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.]
12 During my time here, I protected them by the power you gave me.c I guarded them so that not one was lost, [0//of the name]except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one?as you are [joined together with/in] me, Father, and I am [joined with//in] you. And may they be [joined as one with/in] us so that the world will believe you sent me.
23 I am [joined together with//in] them and you are [joined together with//in] me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I [know you//do]; and these disciples know you sent me.
26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be [joined together as one with//in] them.”