The primary lesson of the book of Jonah is this: God is willing to hear to remove sin, even for people you don’t like. God doesn’t want to kill anyone: Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever. God wants all these groups to be saved. When Yeshua (Jesus) said that the sign of His being the Messiah was the “sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12:39; 16:4; Luke 11:29), it was not only about the three days in the fish representing his three days in the grave. The entire book of Jonah is the “sign of Jonah” Yeshua references.
Yeshua (Jesus) said that the “wicked generation” was going to be only given one sign which Yeshua called “the sign of Yonah (Jonah)” (Matt. 12:38–41; 16:1–4; Luke 11:29–32). This chapter is the key to the “sign of Jonah” that Yeshua lived. The sign of Yonah was how Yonah’s reluctance to perform the duty God had for him was transformed into acceptance of God’s task for Him. Yeti was also reluctant to accept the task God set out for Him. When Yonah accepted his duty, Nineveh was saved. When Yeshua accepted His duty, all mankind was saved.
The book of Jonah is the Haftarah reading during the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur. The main theme of Jonah is how God deals with different kinds of sinners and brings them into His fold: repentance and sacrifice. We have been taught this idea that all sinners are equal and because all sinners are equal, all sinners require the same remedy, but it’s not that simple. As Yonah sets out to run away from God’s mission, we discover that the more we know, the more God requires. Although God saved both the mariners and the people of Nineveh from His wrath, He did not use the same method to do so.