1. As a child, how did you respond when things didn’t go your way? How do you respond today when things don’t go your way? Why do you think you respond the way you do?


  1. What is it that arouses anger in you? How do you express your anger? Why?


Read: Jonah 4:1-11


  1. In v.2 we discover why Jonah ran from God. What reason does Jonah give God for running? What’s intriguing about what Jonah says (i.e. why is he angry and depressed now)? What history was there between Israel and Assyria? How did that play into Jonah’s initial response to God (why he ran)?


  1. What’s interesting about God’s response to Jonah in v.4? What lesson is God trying to teach Jonah?


  1. Jonah proclaimed the message God gave him and the city repented. Mission accomplished, right? Not really…at least not in Jonah’s eyes. Why do you think instead of leaving the city and going home, Jonah decided to go outside of the city in order to “wait to see what would happen to the city”? What do you think Jonah was quietly hoping for? What does this reveal about his heart?


  1. What three things does God provide Jonah (v.6-8)? What role does each of these things play in the lesson God was trying to have Jonah learn? What was that lesson?


  1. What’s curious about how the story ends? Why do you think the author leaves the readers hanging?


  1. When have you ever found yourself reacting negatively to the mercy and compassion God showed other people? Why did you react that way?


  1. When have you tried limiting God’s mercy and compassion for others? To whom is God wanting you to show mercy and compassion?


  1. How important is reaching those who are far from God to you? In what way are you more concerned about your personal comforts and personal pursuits than reaching the lost? How do you think God feels about this?


  1. What do you sense God has been saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?

Answering God’s Call

  1. Have you ever felt you were given a second chance? What happened? Why did it feel like a second chance to you?


Read Jonah 3:1-10

  1. God’s grace is relentless. Jonah gets another chance (v.1-2). What does it mean to you that God’s grace is relentless toward you?


  1. Nineveh was one of the most significant cities in Jonah’s days. The phrase “exceedingly great city” (v.3) could also be translated “a great city to god”. Why would God show such an interest in Nineveh?


  1. Jonah’s message was short (v.4). No mention of God or of the reasons why God will overthrow the city nor any offer of repentance. Considering Jonah’s initial reluctance to go to Nineveh, could there be a reason why his message was so short and lacking any grace?


  1. The response of the people was drastic and swift. How did they express their repentance? Why did they do it? (v.5-9)


  1. How do people respond to God’s call to repent today? How do you respond?


  1. God did exactly what Jonah feared: He relented (v.10). Is this typical of God?


  1. In light of this story of Jonah how do you imagine God? Is God a God who always relents or is God a God of judgment? Are there other stories in the Bible to support your view?


  1. A graceless Jonah vs. a grace filled God. Where do you fit in?

Divine Intervention

  1. Have you ever felt your whole life pass before your eyes? What happened?


  1. Recall a dark and lonely period in your life. What precipitated it? How did you experience God in that time? How did it impact your life? Your faith?


Read: Jonah 2:1-10

  1. What is the general tone of Jonah’s prayer? What kind of a prayer is it? A call for help? A recommitment?


  1. What is the significance of Jonah praying from the belly of the fish but using verbs in the past tense, as though God had already answered his prayer?


  1. While Jonah might have been safe for the moment, how was he still in “deep trouble”?


  1. Where does Jonah show assurance of being delivered in spite of appearances to the contrary (v.4, 6, 7, 9)?


  1. Compare v.3 with 1:15 – how does Jonah view circumstances? God’s control? God’s purposes?


  1. Describe a time in your life when you were on the run from God or felt far from God. What happened? How was your life “brought up from the pit” (v.6)?


  1. How could the trial you are going through be God’s avenue of change for you? Where in your life are you desperate enough to pray with hope as Jonah does here?


  1. What has God said to you through this time of reflection / discussion? What are you going to do about it?

Caution: God at Work!

1. What do you know of the story of Jonah? What have you heard, perhaps from Sunday school?

Read Jonah 1:

2. What did God want Jonah to do?

3. How did Jonah respond?

4. Why did Jonah head off to Tarshish instead of Nineveh?

5. What do you make out of the fact that while the crew of the ship fights for survival Jonah is sound asleep in the bow of the ship?

6. While Jonah runs from the presence of God, he finds himself not out of reach from God. What storms in your life served as reminders of God’s inescapable presence?

7. Do you think Jonah anticipated to be rescued when he asked the sailors to throw him overboard?

8. “I’d rather die than obey!” Can you imagine a situation where you would say these words?

9. When has running away from God brought you (and/or others) into trouble?

10. Do you think Jonah’s rescue by a fish is factual or symbolic? Explain.

11. How has God rescued you in spite of your disobedience?

Power to Change

  1. Talk about a time you experienced something unexpectedly powerful.


Read: Ephesians 1:15-23

  1. Power is one of the great themes in Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus. That may have been strategic on Paul’s part because Ephesus itself was regarded as a place of power. Socially and civically, the city was powerful and was set to become more of a major player in the Roman Empire of the day. But it was also a center of religious power. Before Paul writes about power, he tells his readers how thankful he is for them. Why is he grateful for his readers (v.15-16)?


  1. How does Paul blend praise with petition when he prays (v.17)? What are his specific prayer requests for those reading his letter (v.17-19)?


  1. According to Paul’s prayer, we grow in wisdom the more we get to know God. How does knowing Jesus more help us see and understand things differently?


  1. What was the greatest display of power the world has ever seen (v.20)?


  1. Part of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers is that they understand that the power seen at Easter, now vested in Jesus, is available to them daily. Sadly, too many believers are either unaware of this power or don’t access it, which is why he prays that God would open their eyes to see what’s available for them. What should and shouldn’t using this power look like in our daily lives?


  1. How have you experienced this power in your life? How can this power help you change for the better in your life? Give specific examples.


  1. What authority does Jesus have now (v.21-22)? Why is this significant?


  1. Jesus is the head of the church. The church is his body, his hands and feet, carrying out his mission in this world. How can we, his church, act as his agents within the network of relationships in which we live? Give specific examples.


Pray: Thank God for the power we have through Jesus’ resurrection, and ask him to help you see it and access it in your daily life.