‘Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD.’ (Jonah 3:1-3)
When the big fish had vomited Jonah out upon the beach, God repeated his commission to go to Nineveh and tell the
people there that God’s judgment would come. This time, Jonah obeyed. He called out: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” The Bible text does not disclose whether this was all that Jonah said. Just warning of God’s judgment without calling people to repentance and pointing them to the possibility of forgiveness, would be a rather one-sided and minimalist message. But at least Jonah did what God had commanded him to do.
Christians actually have a similar commission. When Jesus was about to leave the earth after his resurrection, He gave his disciples some final instructions. He told them: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). I think this commission is still valid for all who believe in Jesus Christ — not just for apostles or prophets.
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