Probably most everyone knows the story of Jonah. Jonah’s the guy who gets swallowed by a giant fish and lives to tell the tale. We know it because it’s this incredible, epic story with storms and whales and heroes and villains. The story of Jonah has ingrained itself into children’s folklore and fable—the legendary tale of Jonah and the Whale.

But is that really the story? Is that how it goes?

The account of Jonah the prophet is an account that digs down deep into the core of human beings. It holds up a mirror to our hearts and shows us the very worst parts of ourselves. And at the same time, it reveals something very, very important about God and how he wants to change our hearts to become more like his. 

In order for you to truly hear the message God has for you in the book of Jonah, you will need to set aside your preconceptions about whales and pirates and whatever else you have thought this is supposed to be about. The boo of Jonah serves as a friendly cut to the heart, a gentle punch in the gut that aims to align our hearts and minds with that of God, to show mercy and compassion and forgiveness to those who need it, even to our worst enemies.