Any of this sound familiar? “He’s a good catch”; “That story had me hooked from the very first sentence”; “She’s not the only fish in the ocean”; “I’ll let you off the hook.” There are numerous expressions that liken people to fish. It’s a good analogy because we have a lot in common with our finny friends. Think about some of the people you know: there are “pufferfish” who like to boast, “eels” who are downright slimy, and even the occasional “shark” we have to watch out for. Some of us may feel like we’ve reached the big ocean, while some of us feel like we’re “living in a fishbowl.” And some of us benefit every day from life in a “freshwater” environment, while some of us may be floundering in a dirty pool.
Jesus Christ was the first to liken people to fish. He told His disciples, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 NASB) His use of the analogy demonstrates how well the Lord understands us: fish tend to do their own thing, and catching one can be very difficult. That describes us all.
Furthermore, a good fisherman must hook or net a fish just as he finds it — slippery and scaly, thrashing and splashing; It’s only after he lands it that he begins to clean it. And he definitely needs to clean it, because fish, left the way they naturally exist, are always a little smelly. The process perfectly describes what Christ does: He receives each of us just as we are, but because of His Love for us, because of His desire that each of us becomes the best we can be, He “cleans” everyone He catches. And, you guessed it, cleaning us is not much different from cleaning a fish!
Here’s the first step in the process necessary to prepare a “fish” for the table of life.
A good cook does several things to make a fish appealing, appetizing and flavorful, but first, the fish needs to be washed. The Bible teaches us that we “fish” can be washed by the Blood of the Lamb. (Hebrews 10:22 NLT; Revelation 7:14) This is the blood Christ shed when He was crucified. The blood, once we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, cleanses us of all unrighteousness, including our past mistakes, and the guilt that often accompanies them — all that pond scum that makes us smell and holds us back in life. “But if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NLT)
Smelling a bit fishy today? Have you been floundering in a dirty tank? Are you swimming wherever the currents carry you? On Tuesday, we’ll discuss the next step in preparing a fish, but today we would like to invite you to swim into the net of Jesus Christ; to stop treading water and jump into the boat. (We promise that no one will try to serve you up for dinner!)
If you want to swim with the rest of us, then read Romans 10:9 and follow the directions. Or click here.