Was Jonah swallowed by a whale? Was it a sperm whale? Or was it something else entirely? The truth is, we don’t know the answers to these questions. But that’s okay! The story is not about the fish anyways. The story is about Jonah and God.
Who is the bad guy in the Book of Jonah? The sailors seem to be victims more than antagonists. So is it the storm? That’s ridiculous of course. Storms don’t have evil intentions. They don’t have any intentions! It has to be the person behind the storm. So is it God? Though God ordained the storm, he is not the villain. Everything he does has good purposes. God is not the villain. That leaves us with Jonah.
There is an ancient Christian creed that summarizes the apostles’ teachings. It is one of the oldest creeds known to Christianity. Contained within the creed is this phrase, “suffered under Pontius Pilate.” Out of all the people in the Bible, why was it important to name this person? He wasn’t the only one who persecuted Jesus. Why single him out? Why is Pontius Pilate so significant?
Every gospel records the events found in Mark 14:46-50. But not all of them record it exactly the same. There are details found in Matthew that we don’t find in Luke, and details in Luke that we don’t find in John. So if we want to paint a full picture of what happened, we need to piece it together.