14 Aug

Great Fear

Passage: Jonah 1:1-16

Speaker: Patrick King


Read Jonah 1. How do the various people in this passage respond to the storm?

Jonah spent a lot of money to get on the boat and the sailors ended up throwing their cargo (their livelihood) over the boat. A lot of expense was spent to take matters into their own hands. What can this look like for us in our lives? What lengths are we willing to go to for control and getting ourselves out of God’s purposes?

In verse 9, Jonah answers the sailors questions. 1 Peter 3:15 encourages Christians: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” There seems to be more urgency than hope in the sailors’ questions, but how does Jonah’s answer fit with Peter’s instructions? How do your “identity answers”  (what is your job, where do you come from, etc.) potentially point others to Christ or not?

Some storms in our lives are caused by our refusal to listen to God and obey. Old Testament scholar Derek Kidner wrote, “Sin…sets up strains in the structure of life which can only end in breakdown.” When a storm is a consequence of our sin, we need to repent; to turn back to God. How have you experienced this reality in your life?
Some storms are a matter of living in a fallen world that is not the way it’s supposed to be. Pastor Dan Ortlund wrote, “Do you feel alone? Unknown? Forgotten? Neglected? Sidelined? Marginalized? Remember who you are. If you are in Christ, the deepens reality of your existence is that God knows you. He knows every nook and cranny of your heart. He knows every failure, every fear. He understands you. He does not merely know about you. He knows you. He has pressed you into the inner recesses of his heart. Forgiven and adopted into his family by grace, you are loved by the Lord Jesus Christ with the very love with which the Father loves him (John 15:9).” How might this perspective help you or someone you care about who is going through a storm?
Read Mark 4:35-41. What similarities do you notice between this passage and Jonah 1? What is significantly different? The sailors with Jonah and the disciples with Jesus are both afraid when the storms calm down. Jesus has taken on the storm of our sin so that we can live in peace with him. In what ways have you experienced this type of fear-of-the-Lord? How does seeing Jesus as your Savior encourage you in the midst of a storm?

What from Jonah 1 do you need to remember, rejoice in, request, or repent of?


Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?