The Mystery of Mercy (Jonah 3)



JONAH 3:1-10

Jonah is given a second chance to bring the word of the LORD to the people of Nineveh. This time, Jonah listens and faithfully proclaims the message. While chapters 1 and 2 show the miraculous rescue of Jonah through the God-appointed fish, chapter 3 shows another miracle; the wide-scale repentance of an entire city. The wicked people of Nineveh repent upon hearing the prophet’s message. God shows great mercy by withholding judgment against the people of Nineveh.


  1. HEAD: Questions aimed at our minds to help us understand God’s word.

    • 3:3 tells us, “Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD.” As you consider was has happened to Jonah in chapter 1 and 2, why does Jonah obey God’s call this time instead of running away?

    • Prophecy is about much more than simply predicting future events. In the Bible, prophecy is used by God to shape the people of God into a holy people. Take a moment to read Jeremiah 18:1-11. In light of this passage, why does God tell the Ninevites they will be judged in 40 days?

  2. HEART: Questions aimed at our affections to help us love God.

    • 3:1 tells us that Nineveh was a great city, “three days journey in breadth.” But Jonah’s journey only lasted a day. This is likely because the repentance of the Ninevites was instant and spread very quickly (v.5). What does this immediate response from the Ninevites teach us about what true repentance and faith looks like? (for more see Matt. 19:16–22; Acts 2:37; 8:36.)

    • What are the marks of Nineveh’s repentance? (See specifically v.5 and v.8)? While our sins are not the same as the Ninevites, we too are in need of repentance. What does repentance look like in your life?

  • HANDS: Questions aimed at our hands to help us live for God (Personally, Communally, and Missionally).

    • Jonah is given a second chance to be used by God. His experiences in chapter 1 and 2 are used by God to prepare him for his mission in chapter 3. In what ways has God used past failures and trials to prepare you to better bring the message of the gospel to others?

    • The Ninevites would’ve been seen as a people “too far gone” for the good news of God’s grace. But God miraculously grants them repentance. How is this an encouragement to you and your Gospel Community as you seek to bring the gospel to others?