Previously: By using the analogy of fishing, Jesus Christ demonstrated how well He understands us: like fish, people tend to do their own thing, and catching one can be difficult. And, our Savior, like a good fisherman, hooks or nets us just as we are: slippery, sometimes slimy, and always stinky — just like real fish! After all, you can’t clean a fish BEFORE you catch it! So Christ receives each of us just as we are, with all our faults, all our baggage; but because He wants us to become the best we can be, He “cleans” everyone He catches. And cleaning us is not much different from cleaning a fish!
After washing, the next step in preparing a fish for the table of life is to CUT OFF THE HEAD! Yikes! But it’s not as bad as it sounds. The head represents the mind, and specifically, how we think and what we think. And, as Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism stated, “The mind is everything; What you think, you become.” Of course, there’s some skepticism as to whether Buddha actually did say this; but if he did, he was simply re-stating one of our favorite Bible verses, written at least two centuries before Buddha was born: “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
So apparently, it’s not the clothes that make the man, but rather his thoughts. (Or her thoughts; we’re certainly not chauvinistic.) And, unlike that credit card commercial that asks, “What’s in your wallet?” the more pressing question is, what’s in your head ? Wait, don’t answer that!
Let’s return to cleaning a fish. Imagine: the catch of the day is lying there on your cutting board, that blank expression, that gaping mouth that doesn’t say anything, that cold, dead eye staring back at you. Yuck. No one at your table will want to see that, so the first thing you do is remove the head. Well, God sort of does the same with each of us. Not literally, of course, but He gives us something far more pleasing, “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), transforming our lifeless, “fishy” countenances. God puts the sparkle of hope into our “dead” eyes; and we go from “gaping and speechless” to the sudden realization that God has given us a hope and a future and a purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Each of us goes from being just a helpless creature on the cutting board of life, to becoming a wonderful and beneficial new creation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
Can Jesus Christ cook, or can He COOK? He takes someone with a fishy past and transforms him or her into a pièce de résistance! Gourmet all the way!
Please join us Monday for Part 3: A Fish Out of Water!