Jonah: Day 6

The captain approached him and said, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.”

Jonah 1:6 (HCSB)

Whilst all hell was breaking loose above, Jonah was sleeping below.

This part of the story should set memories ringing in our minds: a man of God sleeping on a boat as a supernatural storm threatens the lives of all around. The man is woken by the terrified sailors and asked to save them by calling to God. Hundreds of years after this happened to Jonah, it happened on the Sea of Galilee to the disciples and Jesus. This ‘going over again’ is called recapitulation and is one of the many ways in which we see that the Old Testament points to Jesus.

The sailors didn’t know who Jonah’s God was, but they were hoping whoever he was that he would listen to the prayers of Jonah. They were hoping that Jonah’s God would care about them. When the disciples woke Jesus from his sleep, they screamed against the gale, asking if he cared that they were dying. Jesus didn’t pray to his ‘god’. Instead, he simply spoke a few words—”Silence! Be still!” (Mark 4.39). Jesus was God. His words were the Word of God. Just as God spoke the universe into existence and set the boundaries of the sea and the earth, placed the planets in their spaces, and engineered the tiniest of molecules with perfection, so he spoke now to the storm. The storm recognised its master and immediately a great supernatural calm came upon the sea.

As Christians, we know whom to call upon when the storm hits our lives, when the rain pours in and the wind cuts through all our clothing with its freezing bite. We call to our Father in heaven; we call upon the name of Jesus our Saviour; we invoke the Holy Spirit our Comforter. We know God, and we know—given what Jesus did for us on the cross—that God cares about us more than we could ever imagine. When we are tossed about by the storms of life, we, as adopted children of God, can have a great and supernatural calm, a perfect peace, a sacred serenity.

  • Adam Young is Associate Minister at All Saints' Church in North Ferriby, England, and Padre to the Yorkshire North & West Army Cadet Force. He has a Master in Applied Theology from Oxford University. In his spare time, he enjoys weightlifting, trail running, painting miniatures, and reading theology.