Children’s Sermon

Jonah 3:1-5, 10


Jonah and the Big Fish

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Jonah 3:1-5, 10


Jonah and the Big Fish


By Dell Smith Klein

OBJECTS: A Boat, a Fish, and a Cross (or pictures of these things).


God told Jonah to go to the big town of Nineveh and warn the people that their wickedness was wrong.

Jonah didn’t like the people of Nineveh, so he disobeyed the LORD. He went in the opposite direction. When he came to a seaport, he bought a ticket and went on board a ship and sailed away. (Hold up the boat.) Do you think Jonah could run away from Nineveh? (Let children respond. Help them to say “No!”) Do you think Jonah could run away from God? (Let children respond. Help them to say, “No!”)


God knew exactly where Jonah was and God caused a big storm to come up (Lift the boat up and down to mimic motion of the waves.) and the boat was in great danger of breaking up in the waves. The sailors on the ship knew that Jonah was running away and after some discussion, they tossed Jonah over the side of the boat into the stormy sea.

God didn’t let Jonah drown though. The Bible tells us that God prepared a big fish with a throat big enough to swallow a person. (Pick up fish.) The big fish swallowed Jonah whole!

Jonah prayed. He prayed about “calling from the deep” water. He prayed about seaweed that was wrapped around his head. He even promised the LORD that he would “make good”––he would do––what the LORD wanted him to do.

What did the LORD want him to do? (Let children respond. Help them to say, “Go to Nineveh.” Yes. Jonah was to tell the people of Nineveh that their wickedness was wrong.

After three days, that big fish spit Jonah out onto dry land, and swam away. (Put fish away). Jonah didn’t hesitate to head toward Nineveh. He had a warning for the people of Nineveh and this time he was going to do exactly what God wanted him to do. He went into Nineveh and walked across it telling the people that God’s punishment was coming if they didn’t change their ways.

Will God punish our disobedience today? (Give children a chance to respond.) Yes, he will. But, did you know that Jesus took the punishment for our disobedience when he was on the cross. (Hold up cross) He did. He died for our sins – for all the wrong things that we have done.

Let’s ask his forgiveness and put our trust in Jesus.

PRAYER: Thank you for the story of Jonah. We are glad that Jonah finally obeyed you and told the people of Nineveh about you. We are thankful that Jesus took our punishment on the cross. We put our trust in Him. Amen

Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan