Jonah Sunday School Lesson

Objective: Realise that God is in  control

Ice Breaker

Have a challenge to get a toy person into a basket.

After seeing the children struggling, introduce 2 carpet tubes with the children holding them up.  Make the person slide.down the first tube in 1 direction then plop into the other tube which finishes.up in the basket.

Jonah got to where God wanted him to go to even though he set off in the wrong direction.

Bible Card

  • Author: Jonah
  • Type: Minor Prophet
  • Written: Approx 750BC
  • No. Chapters: 4
  • O.T. Book No.: 32


What do we know about Jonah?

He was a prophet – one through whom God spoke.  Read Jonah 1v1  and 2 Kings 14v25.

Jonah was from Gath-hepher, which was near Nazareth, in the area known later as Galilee.

He was told to prophesy against a place called Ninevah.  Did he want to go?  No.

Read Jonah 1v1,2.  He went in the opposite direction because, not because he was afraid, but because he wanted Ninevah to be destroyed, and not be saved because they listened and asked for  forgiveness when they heart his teaching.

Sometimes God wants us to do things that we might not want to do.  God wanted to show kindness, but Jonah didn’t!

But God changed everything around.

See what the children know about the story.  If they don’t know, give an outline of how Jonah was asleep in a storm where they were all going to die.  They storm quietened when he was thrown overboard.  A large fish swallowed up Jonah for 3 days where he trusted God and was delivered to Ninevah where he preached and the city was saved.

What did Jesus say about Jonah?

Read Matthew 12v38-41

Jesus prophesied that Jonah’s 3 days in the belly of the fish would represent how he would spend 3 days in the heart of the earth at his burial and then he would be raised from the dead.  The Ninevah people would repent and be saved at the preaching of Jonah and how we are saved when we repent and turn to Jesus for salvation.

What other similarities are there? Look at Jonah 1v4-12.

  • Jonah was asleep in the boat.   Jesus slept in a boat during the storm.
  • Jesus caused the storm to still at his command.  Jonah obeyed God and the storm was quietened.
  • Jonah allowed himself to be thrown overboard.  Jesus allowed the soldiers to kill him.
  • The fish gave up Jonah to life.  The tomb gave up Jesus to new life.
  • Jonah is one of the few prophets sent to the Gentiles.  After the resurrection, Jesus said the the gospel will be proclaimed to the Gentiles after it was preached to the Jews.


Make a picture showing these similarities with Jonah on one side and Jesus on the other.


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