One Greater Than Jonah
He proclaimed destruction,
but I have come preaching the good tidings of the kingdom.
The Ninevites indeed believed without a sign,
but I have exhibited many signs.
They heard nothing more than those words,
but I have made it impossible to deny the truth.
The Ninevites came to be ministered to,
but I, the very Master and Lord of all,
have come not threatening, not demanding an account,
but bringing pardon.
They were barbarians,
but these – the faithful -
have conversed with unnumbered prophets.
And of Jonah nothing had been prophesied in advance,
but of Me everything was foretold,
and all the facts have agreed with their words.
And Jonah indeed, when he was to go forth,
instead ran away that he might not be ridiculed.
But I, knowing that I am both to be crucified and mocked,
have come nonetheless.
While Jonah did not endure so much as to be reproached for those who were saved,
I underwent even death, and that the most shameful death,
and after this I sent others again.
And Jonah was a strange sort of person
and an alien to the Ninevites, and unknown;
but I a kinsman after the flesh and of the same forefathers.
- from a sermon by John Chrysostom