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Lesson Notes Jonah Chapters 3-4 “A Lesson on Compassion: Pursuing Those Who Need to Hear”

February 24, 2013 Bertha Chatman

A Lesson on Compassion Pursuing Those Who Need to Hear
Lesson Passages: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 4:1-11 Note: There are two video links at the end of these notes. Watch video #1 before proceeding, and watch video #2 at the end of the lesson. Do We Care as God Cares? Introduction: What is compassion? (Ask members to define/or tell what compassion looks like in the life of a believer). Compassion means having a sense of deep sympathy and the heartfelt feelings of sorrow for someone hurting physically, mentally or emotionally; an unselfish need to reach out to help relieve the unfortunate misery of a person in need. The feeling of regret and pity showing a kind of loving attitude. Where do you stand on a scale of 1-10 with your compassion for others? Especially the lost… recall the teaching of Pop Martin… (1 is the lowest and 10 the highest) When was the last time you showed compassion? What act did you perform? Today’s Biblical Truth is the God views all people groups with compassion and wants them to hear His message. As people of God we must view all people with compassion too. The psalmist who coined the words of Great is Thy Faithfulness declares in the first stanza:
Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

© 2013 Bertha Chatman

Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith demonstrated what genuine/true compassion looks like by doing the ultimate for us by granting those who came to him
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

The word Compassion appears about 41 times in the King James Version of the Bible beginning in Exodus 2 through the book of Jude. When Jesus was moved with compassion, an act followed: Consider the following passages: Matthew 9:35-36-Then Jesus went out all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness. When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd (reference Ezekiel 34)(implication: Israel’s spiritual condition reflected the failures of its spiritual shepherds.) By showing compassion for the abused and neglected sheep of God’s flock, Jesus identified himself as the Shepherd of God’s people. Mark 8:2-Jesus showed compassion on the Crowd ( “I have compassion on the crowd because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat….. (He feeds the 4,000) Our God is a God of Compassion We see many instances in scripture where the true character of our Lord and Savior is revealed as one that is full of compassion: Psalms 78:38- But He, being full of compassion forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not, yea, many a time turned he his anger away and did not stir up all his wrath” Psalms 86:15- But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion and gracious, long suffering and plenteous in mercy and truth…. Psalms 145:8-The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.
© 2013 Bertha Chatman

Lamentations 3:22-_it is the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. Unfortunately, not all Christians believe God truly desires that all people hear the gospel and have an opportunity to be saved. As sad as this may be, many believers think that Christ is only for people like them, thus we take a passive rather than active approach to being involved in helping to advance the kingdom by supporting God’s redemptive work in the world Focus of Lesson today…God teaches Jonah compassion…. Background: Nineveh was a principal city of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were the most feared people of the ancient Near East during the time of Jonah. Occupying the territory that is now Iraq, they maintained themselves as a world power through the brutal exercise of power. Jonah, like all Israelites, both despised and feared them. First call Jonah 1 God commissioned Jonah to warn Nineveh: Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because their wickedness has confronted me. (HCSB)… What did he do? Jonah 1 & 2 Second call Jonah 3 & 4 …the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time… Jonah 3 & 4 What was his response this time? What changed his mind? Was there an attitude change? The fact that God gave Jonah a second commission identical to the first reveals several important truths. 1. God is gracious and will often give a second chance to those whom He calls to a task 2. God is patient and steadfast in His purposes. He did not change the mission or the message because Jonah had taken a long detour. 3. Running from God’s commission does not really change reality. Jonah only put himself though needless pain by trying to flee to Tarshish. He did not modify God’s purposes, and he got no concession from God and neither will we….
© 2013 Bertha Chatman

The great commission: Matthew 28:19- “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and remember, I am with you always, to the end of this age.. End the lesson with song…These are the days of Elijah… (Video) Prayer: Father, we love you. Help us to grow in wisdom and truth. Give us a heart like yours. Help us to see all people groups as important and give us the grace and boldness to tell them about your great love and compassion for them. In Jesus Name
Video #1: (CeCe Winans - Great is Thy Faithfulness)

Video #2 (Daniel movies) Days of Elijah)

© 2013 Bertha Chatman

Notes (What is the Lord saying to me, and how do I apply it to my life?)

You can listen to the audio that accompanies these notes at
© 2013 Bertha Chatman