How can we show God’s mercy to people who’ve hurt us? Listen to the podcast, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 20.
Once you've listened to the short podcast, take time to reflect on these questions.
Who’s someone in your life you struggle to love?
Can you picture this person from God’s perspective? How does he see them with compassion?
What is one way you can join God’s perspective and show love toward this person today?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
How did Tim’s message challenge or encourage you today?
The prophet Jonah despised the people who God sent him to warn. They were his enemies and he wanted nothing to do with them. Though Jonah loves when God shows him compassion, he is ready to die when God shows that same mercy to his enemies. But God doesn’t just want Jonah to preach to his enemies, he wants Jonah to show them compassion. Will Jonah agree with God’s merciful perspective? Will we agree? The book leaves us with this question and the chance to self-reflect. So let’s do that together now.
Compare Jonah 4:2 to Exodus 34:5-9. How are these passages similar and different from one another? What comes to mind as you consider the irony in these two stories?
Compare Jonah 4:5-8 and 1 Kings 19:3-5. How are these passages similar and different from one another? What comes to mind as you consider the irony in these two stories?
Compare and contrast the lives of Jonah and Jesus. How are their stories similar and different? How did they respond to their enemies? Why were they each willing to die?
Turn your reflections into a prayer. Admit the ways in which you identify with Jonah’s lack of compassion. Express appreciation for God’s compassionate character and pray for renewed ability to reflect his character toward those you struggle to love.