“But the Lord said, ‘You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.’”
Now we come to the climax of the book of Jonah.
But the Lord said,
Now God presses the point of the analogy between the plant and Nineveh. God has the last word. Jonah does not speak again.
“You have had pity on the plant
Jonah expressed himself so clearly on his affection for the plant (air conditioning system) that afforded him comfort. He was attached emotionally to the plant.
for which you have not labored, nor made it grow,
The plant needed no thought, planting, pruning, watering, or tending. Jonah put no labor or toil into the plant. God gave him that plant by His sheer grace. Jonah did not merit it or deserve it. The plant came from God, was nurtured by God, and was sustained for Jonah. Jonah, therefore, was the subject of pure grace, so why should he begrudge grace to others, even the Ninevites?
Those who receive God’s grace should extend grace to others.
All of us are the recipients of God’s grace. We do not earn or deserve that grace from God. Grace is something God gives us because of Christ, not because of a religious toe-dance. Paul had a good grip on this.
1 Co 15:10-11, 10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
If God gives us grace with no strings attached, should we not extend the same grace to others? Why begrudge others the grace of God? It is amazing how much duplicity there is in our lives when it comes to this.