RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Nathanael Ballew

Nathanael is a member of our leadership team and is responsible for organising all the Gatherings that happen across Riverside. He also works for Riverside Performing Arts (RPA).
May 6, 2023
Is Change Possible? | Session 3

BY: Nathanael Ballew
DATE: Sunday 7 May 2023

‘BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Jonah | Chapter 3 | Verses 1-10

EXCERPT:
What does ‘repentance look like in practice? Nineveh was a brutal and horrific enemy…we are meant to identify with Jonah about wanting them to be wiped out. And yet, here in chapter 3, they seem to repent. What is true repentance like? And what would revival look like in our society today?

  Youth Resources

BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS

Each week there are TWO different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.

A | DISCUSSION STARTERS
These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):

1 | Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?

2 | Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?

3 | As a result of the talk, what:

a. Changes do you want to see?

b. Truths do you need to remember?

c. Actions do you need to take?

 

 

B | QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE
These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

Read Jonah: Chapter 3, verses 1-10

1. What, if anything, do you think the word ‘repentance’ means? What does it look like in practice?

2. Read Jonah 3:1-10. In v1, God gives Jonah a second chance to deliver His message to Nineveh. Why do you think he does? (See Psalm 86:15 and 2 Peter 3:9)?

3. In v5-9 we read of the repentance of the people of Nineveh. What do they do, and why? How does this compare to any repentance in your life?

4. What role does humility have for followers of Jesus? See, for example, James 4:6 and Philippians 2:3?

5. Jonah 3:9 raises the possibility that God may change His mind and not destroy Nineveh, if the people repent. Why do you think God wanted Jonah to preach to Nineveh?

6. How does this relate to other Bible passages that depict God’s willingness to change His plans, such as Genesis 6:6-7, 1 Samuel 15:11, or the story of Abraham bargaining with God in Genesis 18?

7. In Jonah 3:10, God relents from His plan to destroy Nineveh because of their repentance. How does this connect to other Bible passages that emphasize the importance of repentance in receiving God’s forgiveness, such as Acts 2:38 and 1 John 1:9?

8. Read Matthew 12:38-41. What do you think Jesus is trying to say here, in relation to the story of Jonah and how Nineveh responded?

9. Take some time to pray. Ask that God would help you have a repentant heart and an eagerness to speak of the grace on offer to people.

As you work thorugh these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus.

BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES

QUOTES |

Jonah is a sign to the Ninevites (Matt. 12:39-41; Luke 11:29-32) not because he has been in the fish, but because he goes as a prophet and preaches the word that leads to repentance.’
(Elaine Phillips)

The gospel points us inward to repentance, not outward to critique.’
(Jon Tyson)

Jonah sits sullenly in that place within each of us that resists doing what God wants.’
(Alicia Ostriker)

VIDEO |Helpful brief overviews of Jonah: The Bible Project: Jonah Video. (9 mins)

PODCAST |The Amazing Jonah by Tim Mackie

BOOK |

‘Obadiah, Jonah & Micah’
Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) by Elaine Phillips

BOOK |

‘You! Jonah!’ Poems by Thomas John Carlisle

BOOK |

‘A Gracious and Compassionate God’ by Daniel Timmer

BOOK |

‘The Prodigal Prophet’ by Timothy Keller

TRANSCRIPT

 

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Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

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