How much do you care?
"And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” Jonah 4.11
Chapter 4 of Jonah paints a stark contrast between the prophet's petulance and God's mercy. Jonah's concern is for his own people - to the extent that it is not just about their flourishing as a nation (which was the case in his time) but it requires judgment on their enemies too. He wants Nineveh to suffer, even while Israel prospers. On the other hand God's concern extends over the whole of creation - which he made and among whom he appointed Israel to be an example, of what a whole nation made in the image of God resembles.
Here is where the uniqueness of Jonah is to be found: it amounts to a self-critical analysis of Israel and its whole raison d'etre. And we are challenged too: our petty obsessions in the light of God's breath-taking agenda of compassion for all: humans and creatures both, creation and all who inhabit it, this world and the next. Faithfulness involves aligning our limited ambitions with God's infinite and eternal intentions - Jesus shows us the way, the Holy Spirit guides and enables our following...