Jonah 1:15-17

Talks for Growing Christians

Jonah is Swallowed by the Great Fish

Jonah 1:15-17

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Jonah is a type or picture of Christ.
  2. Jonah is a type or picture of Israel.

Practical Application

  1. You are never too old to disobey.


  1. List the three miracles found in this passage.
  2. How does this portion of Scripture show God’s sovereignty over nature?
  3. Read Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41. List some common points between these passages and Jonah 1:4-15.
  4. What is the application today for Question #3?
  5. Was the big fish a whale?
  6. Define the word “type.”


  1. a. Jonah is swallowed alive by a big fish and doesn’t die. b. Jonah is thrown into the sea in the midst of a catastrophic storm and the sea becomes calm. d. The men feared the Lord, offered a sacrifice and took vows (true conversion is a miracle, a work of God).
  2. God is in complete control of the wind, the sea, and the fish of the sea.
  3. The occupants of the boats were fearful because of lack of faith. The Lord controlled the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
  4. People are fearful because of lack of faith. The Lord has sovereign control over the storms of life, and He can calm the storms with His words, “Peace, be still.”
  5. It could have been, or it could have been another large sea creature. It could have been a whale shark, or perhaps it was a genetically altered large fish, perfectly prepared by the Lord for Jonah (“The Lord prepared a great fish…” Jonah 1:17).
  6. “Type” by definition is an Old Testament person, place, event or other item which pictures or illustrates a New Testament truth.


  1. Jonah is a type or picture of Christ. As Jonah was preserved for three days and three nights, he pictures Christ in His death and resurrection. The Lord Himself confirmed this (see Matthew 12:40). Isaac was also a type of Christ. Review Hebrews 11:17-19 and consider how he was a type of Christ in his death and resurrection.
  2. Review Doctrinal Point #2. Discuss the ten parallels between Jonah and Israel. What a great picture of God’s dealing with the Jewish nation.


  1. In 2 Kings 14, we saw that Jonah prophesied in the early days of King Jeroboam II. Those prophecies were already fulfilled by the time the book of Jonah was written when Jonah was an older and mature prophet. However, even in his “maturity,” he was a disobedient prophet. Is it possible that this fits you? Even in “maturity,” are you disobedient? We are all vulnerable. Remember the story of Jonah.

Key Verses

  • “Jonah was thrown into the sea, and the sea ceased its raging.” Jonah 1:15
  • “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17

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