Jonah Lesson 6

Miracles and Theology

Icebreaker Question:  According to Webster's Dictionary, a miracle is "a surprising and welcome event that is not explainable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine originator".  Let me try that in simple words.  Here they are.  "A miracle is something that you cannot explain, but it happens anyway.  Furthermore, God is responsible for these occurrences."  Do you believe in miracles?  Ever seen one or seen the results of one?

1.  What does the Bible say about miracles?  Bible miracles generally fall into one of several categories.  Let's summarize them.. (The following thoughts were taken from an article by Wayne Jackson, published by Christian Courier and entitled, What Does the Bible Say About Miracles.) 

a.  God has inestimable creativeness in simply speaking.  Therefore, some supernatural acts of creation were accomplished by the word of God.  (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24; Psalm 33:6, 9; Heb. 11:3)

b.  God has the ability to suspend or magnify the laws of nature.  For instance, in Jonah 1:4, God sent out a great wind on the sea which caused a tempest ..."  In Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus calmed a ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee.  On another occasion, He walked on the waters of a lake.  (John 6:16-21)

c.  God has the power to heal all manner of diseases.  During His ministry, Jesus healed many people with various medical conditions.  (John 9:1-7; Luk)e 17:11-14)

d.  God has the power to excise demons.  (Matt. 12:22-28)  This and other scriptures prove that God has superior power over Satan.

e.  God demonstrated power over matter and material, when He changed water into wine; (John 2:1-10) and multiplied and transformed five barley loaves and two small fish into enough food to feed about five thousand men with a great deal of leftover food.  (John 6:1-13)

f.  God clearly has dominion and power over plant and animal life.  For example, Balaam's donkey spoke with a man's voice.  (Numbers 22:28-30)  Jesus also destroyed a fig tree by the words of His mouth.  (Matt. 21:19)

g.  In summary, we serve and worship a God of inestimable power, creativity, knowledge, and presence.  His mere words have power beyond measure or human comprehension.

Q2.  Ask the group to discuss their thoughts on the power of God to work miracles, and how it is an anchor to their faith.

2.  As I consider the above discussion, we can see that God uses miracles to:

a.  Glorify God or Christ.  (John 2:11; 11:40)

b.  Authenticate Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.  (John 11:41, 42; 20:30, 31)

c.  Reveal God's presence.  (Exod. 3:1-6; Judges 6:11-24)

d.  Produce or increase the faith of the hearer or witness of the miracle.  (Matt. 4:16, 17; Mark 5:25-34)

3.  I was able to identify at least ten miracles in the Book of Jonah:

a.  1:4 - "the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea".

b.  1:7 - "the lot fell on Jonah".

c.  1:15 - "the sea ceased from its raging".

d.  1:17 - "the Lord had prepared a great fish".

e.  1:17 - "to swallow Jonah (alive)".

f.  2:10 - "the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land".

g.  3:10 - "God saw their works ... they turned fro their evil way and He decided not to destroy them".

h.  4:6 - "the Lord prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah".

i.  4:7 - "God prepared a worm".

j.  4:8 - "God prepared a vehement east wind".

k.  And for good measure and an eleventh miracle:

(i)   If you have ever wondered how Jonah was able to survive for three days in the belly of a large fish, there may be one or two more miracles.  If he didn't die, the miracle was how he was able to live for three days without the whale's digestive juices destroying him.

(ii)  If you believe he surely died, then God obviously raised him from the dead when the fish vomited him out!

4.  Let me close with a few remarks about the theological themes I see in Jonah.

a.  The call of God cannot be ignored or discounted.  It must be responded to.  When God puts His hand on our lives, it is best that we acknowledge Him and say, "Lord, what would you have me do"?  The desired response to God's call is one of service and submission.

b.  God has inestimable power over all forms of creation, including the mind and methods of mankind.

c.  Anger is a debilitating disease.  If we fail to confront it, we will eventually cripple our Christian walk.

d.  Hard-hearted men and women may still respond to the call of God and His words.

e.  God can change His mind when sinful men truly repent.

Q3.  Discuss some new thoughts or facts you have learned from this series of lessons from the Book of Jonah.

Conclusion:  This concludes our series of lessons in the Book of Jonah.  I hope you enjoyed and got much out of them.  Please send me an e-mail through the website (FreeBibleLessons4U.com) and tell us what you thought.  May God less you!  Pass the website along to other Christians or churches who may be able to benefit from this study.

 

 

 

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