When Christ walked the earth he was sent to the Hebrews and most (if not all) Hebrews knew the old testament. This is why Christ would say to the “have you not read?” If he had walked today he probably wouldn’t have said that because most (the multitude) have not read or even care. If they do they say I don’t get it and move on.
With that said when the story given about Christ sleeping in the bottom of the boat their minds would instantly would be reminded about Jonah and how he slept in the bottom of the boat.
So let’s go back to when the Scribes and the Pharisees asked for a sign.
Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
Who are these men of Nineveh here? Who is he talking about? He is talking about the ones that listen to his words. For there is no Gentile or Israelite. There is only those who are attached to the true vine and those who are not.
Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Stay with the subject Christ is still teaching.
Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Now here is where you need to perk up. Why on earth is he talking about unclean spirits?
Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
unclean spirits are real my friends. They are not lurking behind every bush, but they do exist. Remember how Christ teaches. He paints us a picture so we can understand a spiritual truth. Lets go back to that picture.
Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
Note that this is earlier in Matthew. The disciples would remember this. They knew that story of Jonah, just as I hope you all do now.
Matthew 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
What manner of man indeed! Now just as in chapter 12 the lesson isn’t over.
Matthew 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
Why is he in Gergesenes? This is Gentile country and he is sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Well let’s find out.
Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
What we have here friends are unclean spirits. And is it any surprise that they know who Christ is? Satan knows who Christ is and so do his cronies.
Matthew 8:30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
Matthew 8:31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
Christ is going to clean house friends.
Matthew 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
Swine is the lowest carnal flesh. It’s an unclean animal that God designed to help clean up the earth as all scavenger do, but even they could not handle this legion.
Mat 8:33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
See everyone knew about these two men that were terrorizing the countryside.
Mat 8:34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
So Christ sails all the way across the Sea of Galilee to do what? Preach? No he cast out demons then left. But do you think for one second that Christ left the man empty so that those unclean spirits could go find some buddies?
Mark 5:18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
Need I answer that question. You know now what Jonah symbolized.
Before we leave the topic of Jonah I want to show you one more thing.
John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
Note the three. Remember that numbers in the bible do have meaning.
John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Son of what? Jonas or Jonah. He is giving the same command that Jonah had. Peter son of the Dove. Son of the Holy Spirit.
John 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Of course Peter was upset because he thought that Christ was doubting his faith, but no. Remember Peter was the only one besides Christ that walked on water. Christ knew Peter had faith. That is why he is calling him Son of the Holy Spirit.
John 21:18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
This is election. Many have free will, but God’s election are different. Just like Jonah didn’t have a choice where he was going and just like how Saul (Paul) was struck down on the road to Damascus.
John 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Historically we know that Peter was crucified and it is believed that he was crucified upside down because he did not want to die the same way Christ did. and we know that Peter did follow Christ and that in Acts chapter 2 we see that Peter was there on Pentecost day to receive the Holy Spirit.