Sermons

When God Finds the Guilty (Jonah 1:7-10; John 18:28-40)

God meets you with grace in your guilt.

I.       God’s Choosing (1:7-8)
A.     Divine Casting (1:7; cf. Exodus 20:16, Leviticus 19:17-18, Proverbs 16:33)
B.     Good Detectives (1:8)

II.     Jonah’s Confession (1:9)
A.     Jonah, the Hebrew  (1:9; cf. Genesis 40:15)
B.     YHWH, the Creator (1:9; cf Genesis 1:1)

III.    The Sailors’ Charge (1:10)
A.     A Big Fear (1:10; cf. Mark 4:41)
B.     What Have You Done? (1:10; cf. Genesis 3:13)
C.     The Silent Neighbor (Matthew 27:11-14, Isaiah 53:7)
D.     A Feast for the Guilty 

Discussion Starters

1.  Monday—Why is it so difficult to deal with our guilt? What sorts of things do you do to attempt to cover up your guilt?

2.  Tuesday—How does the narrator of Jonah describe the sailors, as they speak to one another? What does it mean to be a good neighbor and how do the sailors demonstrate it in the way they treat Jonah?

3.  Wednesday—What do the sailors do to find out who is responsible for the evil in their midst? Discuss the parallels between the scene where the sailors cast lots and when the priest would choose the sacrificial and scapegoat on the day of atonement? What do you think the narrator is telling us in light of the parallel?

4.  Thursday—Talk about Jonah’s confession and response to the sailors. Is it sufficient or is there something missing? If so, what is missing? What’s so ironic with Jonah’s response and the sailors’ fear?

Friday—Discuss what the phrase “What have you done?” means to you. Does it help you confront your guilt or does it push you away? In what ways does Jesus demonstrate for us what it truly means to be a good neighbor? How is Jesus’ silence before Pilate good news for the guilty?