Confession, Jonah, and the Prodigal’s Sons

I had never before considered how closely Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son parallels the last two chapters of the book of Jonah, but the comparison is striking. In the Old Testament book Jonah is sent to warn the people of Nineveh to repent their sins, or face the wrath of God. The Ninevites listen to the words of the prophet: like the Prodigal Son himself, they whole-heartedly repent, and in turn receive God’s whole-hearted forgiveness. Who could object to that? As it turns out, Jonah could, and does, object . . .