Weekend Message Takeaway: “The Hero of the Story”

This past weekend, we wrapped up our “Great: City. Mission. God.” series as Pastor Doug shared a message from Jonah 4. In this message, we saw the great mercy and forgiveness of God in action as well as the selfishness, pride, and mercilessness of man’s heart through Jonah’s reaction to the Lord’s sparing of the Ninevites. We also explored who the true hero of this story is and how we can be more like Him!

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.


Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's teaching this weekend:

Just Because You Repented Yesterday Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Battle Today (Jonah 4:1–3): The daily spiritual battle is real, folks. And it will not end until we see Jesus face-to-face. Jonah disobeyed God due to his prejudices and hatred for the Ninevites and the Assyrian Empire as a whole. But he repented in the belly of the fish and was shown mercy. Sadly, Jonah still couldn’t give mercy, even after all God had done for him.

Jonah was angry and disappointed at God’s actions. He wanted judgment for the Ninevites, not mercy. Have you ever hoped for judgment upon a person, a small subset of people, or even an entire ethnic group, people of a certain race, lifestyle, or religion? How do you reconcile that with who God is and what He has done for us? 

When You Make Life About You, You Miss the Greatness All Around You (Jonah 4:4–8): How should Jonah feel? He just experienced the greatest revival recorded in the Bible. Imagine seeing what Jonah saw right here in your city: hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children giving their lives to the Lord and repenting of their sins . . . But Jonah missed it because of his attitude; because of his personal, ungodly prejudices. It’s like the football player who gets angry and disgruntled after not getting the ball enough, even though his team won the game.

Jonah, for some reason, made this amazing work of God all about him. What amazing thing(s) could you be missing out on that God has for you because of your attitude? As a believer, we cannot allow this to take place in our lives. We cannot turn our noses up at anyone or grow prideful. Self-righteousness will lead to anger, isolation, and depression. It will cause bitterness to take hold.

1. What do you love more than people?                                                                        
2. What communities do you begrudge and deny God’s grace to?

God Would Rather Forgive than Judge: When people describe God, most of the time their description doesn’t line up with who God actually is and how He is described in the Bible. God loves each and every one of us; He numbers each soul in each city. Did Jonah ever understand this? Did he ever get it and realize who God is and who we should be in light of that? It seems likely considering that Jonah is widely credited as the author of this book. Jonah came to understand he was not the hero of this story; he wanted to make that very clear.

There Is Only One Hero in Our Story . . . His Name Is Jesus: It’s not that Jonah couldn’t think of a great ending for his story. This was a great ending, because it causes us to look in the mirror. It ends similar to the Parable of the Lost Son. In that story, are you the lost son or the older brother?

What will you do? Do you care about the people of your city? Do you feel their pain as they wrestle with life? Will you exalt the hero of the story? Will you bring the love of Jesus to people who are lost and crying out for it?

Quote to Remember: What do you love more than people? My answer is myself. So, if you think about it, Jonah is a parable about me.—Pastor Doug Sauder

As the calendar rolls over into December, we all know what that means . . . the Christmas season is upon us! For many, this month is full of business, anxiety, and a lot of shopping. But that’s not what this season is supposed to be. The Christmas story isn't about presents, decorations, or the holiday hustle; it's a story of love, hope, redemption, and relationship. This year, we invite you to recapture the heart of the holiday with us as we commit to spend less, give more, worship fully, and love all. We hope you join us for one of our services. For service times and locations, as well as ideas and resources for ways to rethink Christmas, click here.

Join us this Wednesday for an incredible night of powerful worship and heartfelt prayer as we reflect on God’s goodness and worship Him together. As a church family, we will pursue God’s heart and lift up His name!

This weekend, we’ll kick off the Christmas season with a study of Matthew 1.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.