An Invitation for Outsiders & Insiders

Many people have pointed out that one way of looking at the prophet Jonah is as a classic nationalist.  You could say he believes in Israel.  Israel should be first.  He is with the chosen children of God, not the gentiles, and definitely not the Ninevites.  Now, his nationalism… maybe it’s the subtle kind.  He’s not killing Ninevites or bullying them; he’s not discriminating against them or even name-calling.  He just doesn’t want to preach to them… and when he reluctantly does preach to them, he wants God to still judge them.  That’s all.  They are “the others.”  Jonah is on the inside and they are on the outside…

Remember that the story of Jonah is the story of Israel and it’s the story of us.  We can be just like this.  We’re protestants, better than those catholics.  We’re christians, better than those muslims, better than those atheists.  We’re democrats, or we’re republicans, we’re on the inside.  There’s no room for others here.  We’re Americans – the best country in the world.  We take care of our own.  We’re white.  We’re heterosexual.  We’re rich.  We’re educated.  God’s grace is for us, not for them.   

This sounds really offensive… and it should.  But if you look online or at the news or if you pay attention to the world around you, this is the reality.


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