"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed." Jon 3:4
Jonah's challenge is both similar and very different from the apostle's. Jonah must walk through Niniveh and remind its citizens that unless they reform, their entire city will be destroyed. In this aspect of his ministry Jonah is a forerunner of the apostles, but Jonah is reluctant to assume his new role. In fact, he hopes he fails. His dislike of the Ninivehites is deep. He does not want them to reform and hopes that God will destroy them.
The apostles, on the other hand, while no doubt having their own prejudices, are not reluctant at all to follow Jesus. Jesus' personality and power draw them like fresh water in the desert. They do not hesitate leaving their boats and their families to follow the one who promises a new reign and a new world order.
There is a bit of Jonah and the apostles in all of us. Because no one can escape hurt, like Jonah we sometimes harbor and hold onto painful memories that cling to us like an ink stain on a new shirt. We scrub and launder the shirt over and over, but the stain remains. Though we know we have no choice but to find a new shirt, we cling to what seemed so clean and fresh but is now ruined. Unless we change shirts, we will be unable to begin again, and that is exactly what the apostles do. Because the law as they heard it interpreted left them cold and lifeless, they follow Jesus, the living water and are born again.
Today, let go of anything that is keeping you from the enjoying the living water of faith.
Who has been like water in the desert for you?