Jack Davis is an interesting character. It seems at first that he is only interested in exploring the Bible Room because he wants to avoid going to his church’s cleanup day. But then he does seem sincerely interested in hearing about Jonah. He’s so enthusiastic in fact that he acts quite rudely towards his friend Lucy, telling her to sit down and be quiet to listen to the story. And he does this all in front of Mr. Whittaker who doesn’t address it. But in Whit’s defense, he was probably hoping to save Jack’s lesson until he could get into the story.
Whit’s telling of the story of Jonah is pretty loyal to the Bible, apart from his including of Jack and Lucy as characters in the story. In the belly of the whale, or should I say big fish, Jonah speaks to Jack with the wisdom of Mr. Whittaker when he links his running away from God to Jack’s disobedience of his parents. Jack thought he would get away with what he did but instead he’s starting to feel convicted. Whit as the storyteller talks about how Jonah prayed to God for eight verses, but he skips over what Jonah actually says. I would have loved to have heard a little of Jonah’s prayer in the episode because it is so profound and genuine and demonstrates God’s faithfulness and salvation. Not to mention it marks a significant turning point in the story.
An interesting aspect about this episode is that it turned a non-comedic Bible story about judgment into a comedy. Jack and Lucy trying to explain themselves to the king of Nineveh was a particularly funny scene. Even though they were thrown in jail, the conversation helped to lighten the mood. The king suggests they should have gone to their church cleanup instead and then turns to have a conversation with his brother-in-law, who says there is a man crying in the streets. The king misinterprets that a man is literally shedding tears in the streets.
I’m glad this telling of the story of Jonah included the ending in which Jonah gets angry that God has decided to spare the city from destruction. Jonah feels sorry when the plant giving him shade dies but he does not feel any pity towards the people of Nineveh. This further clarifies how great God’s mercy is, especially compared to the level of mercy human beings are willing to show.
After the story is over Jack calls Lucy a spoil-sport for refusing to go fishing, which makes me wonder why Jack even hangs out with Lucy at all. But as we learn in Album 50, he did have a crush on her for a long time. Because of the shortness of the Book of Jonah, this episode has little material to work with but still does an adequate job. But without the Imagination Station, integrating Jack and Lucy into the story felt a little awkward and unnecessary. It gets 3 out of 5 stars.