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News & Press: Word of the week

According to a humble fish

Sunday, September 15, 2019   (0 Comments)
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According to a humble fish

The fish can tell us a lot about our faith!

There was Jonah in complete rebellion. He was clearly told by the Lord to go to Nineveh, yet he deliberately set off in the opposite direction.  Severe storms on the sea voyage see him thrown off the ship. One would have thought that the Lord would leave him to his fate as he was so disobedient.  But NO!  A large fish is sent to rescue him and, after a couple of days, deliver him onto dry ground. This is the faithfulness of God even when we are unfaithful.  (2Timothy 2:13)

We are each called to the specific work the Lord has prepared beforehand for us. (Ephesians 2:10)  Doing the right thing in the right place at the right time – that is one way of saying we are being led by the Spirit – it is vitally important. You can struggle all night and get nothing, but when Jesus comes on the scene His leading, His advice brings a large catch.  (Luke 5:1-11 John 21:6-14)

In the hands of Jesus, a few fish, the very little we have, can be turned into a feast for many – enough for 5,000 + and plenty left over.   (This is recorded in all the gospels e.g. Mark 6:30-44)

Have you made a mistake?  Peter wrongly ‘committed’ himself and Jesus to pay the Temple tax. The Son does not have to pay, the sons are free!  Yet Jesus told Peter to use his calling – go catch a fish, and in the first one you catch there will be a coin to pay the temple tax. Peter’s mistake turned into an example of Jesus’s majesty over all creation. (Matthew 17:24-27 and Romans 8:28)

Ask.  If you ask the Father for a fish, will He give you a serpent? Certainly not!  (Matthew 7:10)

After Jesus had been crucified, the disciples were all depressed, perhaps disillusioned, and so they had gone back to fishing. No luck  - all night long they caught nothing.  Then the man on the beach tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat – an enormous catch of 153 great fish.  “It is the Lord!!” they cried.

Bible numerologists tell us there is great meaning here.  Out of the sea, which the Bible uses to represent mankind, 153 great fish are lifted up and taken to Jesus.  Here the numbers tell the story. 153 is 17 times 9. Now 10 and 7 added together = 17 which represents the full number of the spiritually perfected church. This is taken by 9, which is the last single digit and represents the end of the age. So here we see the church at the end of the age taken up in the air to meet Jesus.  This is our great hope - when Jesus returns we will indeed all rise to meet Him in the air.  (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

It is no wonder then that the early church adopted the sign of the fish! Don’t forget the humility!