The Ninevites are surprising examples. They are not of “this generation” but have been generated of the Lord, born from above, even if Jonah in his prejudice didn’t want them to be. Flesh and blood did not reveal the Lord to them–no, not Jonah–but the Father in heaven revealed Himself to them, albeit through the reluctant prophet.
There is something in this account of the wickedness of Gentiles and the steadfast mercy of god that loves even them. The Ninevites aren’t wonderful people, but they are loved by God. At His Word, they repent and are spared. There is also something in this of the stubbornness and frailty of those called to preach who think they know best how and when and where to preach.
Thy Kingdom Come: Lent and Easter Sermons
David H. Peterson