Skeptics view the travel story about the prophet Jonah as not real. They’ve determined the whole account to be an allegory because of the episode in which he’s inside the fish’s belly for three days and three nights. However, there are reasons that give credence to this being an actual event.
First, the narrative of the story is presented in an historical context with exacting descriptions and details of Jonah’s trip. For example, there’s Jonah’s journey to Joppa; the payment of his fare; what was said between him and the sailors during the storm; his trip to Nineveh; and finally an embarrassing revelation of Jonah’s resentment towards God’s compassion. (There wouldn’t be a need to include this last detail about Jonah’s mental state if the story were false.)
Furthermore, I believe the story in its entirety because I believe in a God of miracles. I see them as the testimony that they are. The miracles of Jesus’ works and His resurrection testify of God’s control over the natural.
That extends to the universe as well. It too speaks a miracle. It’s designed symmetry, balance, and organization declares the glory of God. The fact that He created it out of nothing and that it is held together by His wisdom and power, tells me that preserving Jonah in the great fish’s belly was a piece of cake.
Finally, there is this evidence that the story is true. Jesus, the Truth, referred to Jonah’s three days/night captivity. He validated the story by using it as the basis for one of His prophecies.
He said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12: 40.
Meditation by Gregory John Monroe