Part 4 of Jonah – “Our Father in heaven . . . forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors . . . For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Mt. 6:12,14,15).
With these familiar words Jesus teaches that we can only receive God’s mercy as we demonstrate that mercy toward others. As we conclude our study of the prophet Jonah, we see this as the central message. The prophet knew of God’s mercy, he had received God’s mercy, but he refused to extend that mercy to Nineveh. His obstinate anger provides a mirror through which we can look at ourselves.