Jesus created everything (John 1:1-3) (Colossians 1:16) in the beginning of creation including the Fish. In the beginning of the bible in the book of Genesis chapter one verse twenty, fish are the first creatures to be mentioned to appear and are the only species not taken into the ark. (Genesis 1:20) Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”
A Fishy Town and Fishermen
Jesus gets a little more fishy. And, most importantly, Jesus choose fishermen for the monumental job of spreading his word and building his church. (Luke 5:1-11)
The Sea of Galilee is also know as the Sea of Tiberias, the Lake of Gennesaret and (in Hebrew) Lake Chinnereth or Kinneret.
This “heart shaped” freshwater sea is located in the northern hills of Israel. The Sea of Galilee is mainly fed by the Jordan River. It is also drained by it since the lake serves as Israel’s chief water reservoir. It is and was the hub of commerce in the lands. Jesus made the fishing town of Capernaum the center of his ministry in Galilee. Jesus used the lake, its boats, its shores, its men, and its fish to spread his Gospel of Good News.
This is where Jesus…..
Calmed the storm (Mark 4:35-41)
Walked on the water (Matthew 14:22-33)
Fed the multitudes bread and fish twice (Matthew 14:13-20) (Matthew 15:32-39)
Taught The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9)
Told the disciples to cast out their nets (John 21:6) (Luke 5:1-22)
Call Four Fishermen to be His Disciples (Luke 5:1-11)
Has fish for Breakfast with the disciples after His resurrection (John 21:1-14)
And………………Well we could keep going and going. The point is that Jesus did some very fishy things in and about The Sea of Galilee.
Some Fishy Money
There are about 27 species of fish in the lake, the best-known is nicknamed St Peter’s Fish. This species (Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus) belongs to the genus Tilapia. Its Arabic name of musht which means ‘comb’ refers to its comb-like tail.
This nickname comes from the Gospel passage in which Temple tax collectors ask Peter whether Jesus pays the Temple tax. When Peter goes home Jesus already knows what is on his mind and tells him to he needs to go fishing. Jesus tells him to go to the lake and cast a hook, take the first fish, open its mouth, take the four-drachma coin he finds in the fishes mouth and go pay the two-drachma temple tax for them both.
Paying the Temple Tax (Matthew 17:24-27) When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
He said, “Yes.”
And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
Take Note: Jesus immediately practices what He is preaching when he says to to Peter, “Then the sons are free.” as Lord and King He provides for His child. Peter’s tax is paid free! Jesus provides for us his children. This also shows us proof that the ruling sect of Sadducees and Pharisees who impose the Temple Tax do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
A Fishy Aquatic Chicken?
There is a peculiar breeding habit of this species of Tilapia (musht) being, that it is a mouth brooder. The female holds her eggs in her mouth for three weeks until they hatch; the baby fry swim back into her mouth when danger threatens. When this danger comes and in a time of panic the fish is also known to pick up small stones, bottle tops and other objects in its mouth. When the fry are mature enough to be on their own the parent fish takes and stores pebbles into her mouth so that ‘home’ isn’t so comfortable anymore.
It is real easy to see that Jesus could use this fish’s mouth as a coin purse if He wants to. Just as Jesus is also capable of providing provisions for His children (Christians).
The Tilapia is also know as an aquatic chicken. Just as chicken is fair in flavor, cost effective, and neutral to most environmental opinions. Tilapia is very mild flavored fish and is the number one table fare for export the world over. Several coins have been reportedly found in the mouths of Tilapia during the course of the commercial fishing industry.
Some Fishy Resurrection Appearances
Jesus eats Fish with His disciples after His resurrection. Once to have fellowship at the seashore and another time to show them that His body is a real resurrected and redeemed body.
If you truly love the taste of fish you can eat it morning noon or night. Hey who said it has to only be steak and eggs for breakfast anyway? For me it is nice to know that I will break bread and eat fish with Jesus in a redeemed body. My kind of Heaven! Do you think Jesus will take us fishing on The Sea of Galilee to get our main course?
Early morning breakfast meal. (John 21:9-13) Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.
Late evening meal. (Luke 24:40-43) When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.
Jesus left a fishy legacy
Nero Claudius Caesar was born in December of 37 A.D. at Antium and reigned as the fifth emperor (Princeps) of Rome, from 54-68 A.D. Nero took the throne approximately two decades after Christ was crucified.
Christianity was still in its infancy and Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion was still fresh on everyone’s mind. However, Christianity was spreading rapidly during this time. Approximately fourteen of the New Testament’s twenty seven books were written in whole or in part during Nero’s emperor-ship.
Nero was the “Caesar” to whom Paul appealed for justice during his trial in Jerusalem (Acts 25:10-12)
In fact, during Nero’s reign the apostle Paul was confined to house arrest in Rome (A.D. 60-63) This is when and where he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon in a his rental house. (Acts 28:16-30)
In 64 A.D. a devastating fire swept through Rome destroying everything in its path burning nearly half of Rome. Everyone thought that Nero had started the fire so that he could rebuild a more beautiful city, including his Golden House.
Roman historian Suetonius makes the accounted recording that Nero sang and played the lyre while Rome burned. As a result of a rumor Nero felt that everyone had turned against him. Nero found himself a scapegoat to bare the blame for the fire, the Christians. He persecuted Christians severely and had many of them burned alive or torn apart by wild beasts. It is believed that the apostles Paul and Peter were martyred during this persecution.
An Evil Nero began a Satanic trend that lasted throughout the reign of subsequent evil “Caesars” of the Roman Empire, Christians were commonly persecuted, tortured, and put to death because of their faith in Christ Jesus.
The symbol of a fish was used by persecuted Christians as a code for Christ in order to avoid arrest and execution by Roman authorities.
According to ancient tradition, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc which intersected the others to complete the symbol of a fish, both believers knew they were in the company of a follower of Jesus.
Ichthys (also Ichthus or Ikhthus /ˈɪkθəs/), from the Koine Greek word for fish: ἰχθύς, (capitalized ΙΧΘΥΣ or ΙΧΘΥϹ) is a symbol consisting of two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish, used by early Christians as a secret Christian symbol known as the “Jesus fish.”
Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ pronounced Iēsoûs Khristòs Theoû Hyiòs Sōtḗr
“Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.” As an acronym: ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) — “fish”.
Satan’s Fishy Perversion
An enormous perversion of the Christian fish symbol comes from Satan’s successful attempts to twist the Christian believers use of the fish into a pagan ‘No No’. Likening it to an adaptation of a pagan symbol into a Christian symbol. The fact that Christians used this symbol or any others such as a cross is merely coincidental not intentional. There is no rule of thumb that states that a fish is an evil creature, creation, or symbol.
The fish was created as a nutritious and clean food for Mankind. Jesus used and ate fish as integral part of His ministry. It is Satan that has brought about the perversions and deceptions to undermine Jesus and the whole Christian movement. (Leviticus 11:9) ‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat.’
Satan used the fish worldwide as a perverted religious symbol associated with the pagan “Great Mother Goddess.” Meant to represent the outline of her vulva. It is linked to the Age of Pisces and also has associations with the Hindu deity Vishnu.
The fish is most commonly associated with Dagon the fish-god of the Pagan sects of Philistines. The name Dagon is derived from the Hebrew term dâg which means fish. There have also been discoveries of the fish-god in sculptures found in Nineveh Assyria.
However, Dagon has undergone several adaptations and perversions by Satan. Dagon originally started off as a vegetation, grain and wheat, deity. The name is very similar to the Hebrew word for “grain”, dāgān. This creates an interesting irony in the Samson narratives, the bible tells us Samson was forced to grind grains for the Philistines. (Judges 16:21) Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
Some descriptions appear to even make Dagon a storm-god, possibly in connection with the need of rain for the wheat and grain harvest. Dagon is also found in the Scriptures (Judges 16:23-24) (1 Samuel 5:2-5).
Something’s Fishy in the End
Jesus taught several things in the form of parables which are simple stories used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. These stories were told in a manner appropriate for ease of comprehension by all, no matter ones education or age.
Jesus taught the Parable of the Dragnet so that we could understand the consequences coming due to the great perversions committed by Satan and believed by man. There is a time coming when these sins receive judgment which will come to fruition.
Just as there are mixed opinions about the fish and the fish symbols, namely to the points of pagan and Christian uses. The whole world is mixed in its opinions of God and gods, Heaven and Hell, and what is truly good or bad. Satan has perverted mankind’s opinion of what is good and evil to the point that the very things that are abominations to God are now acceptable behaviors. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
The Parable of the Dragnet (Matthew 13:47-50)
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
This parable is just like when the disciples went fishing and cast their large dragnets which drew everything after it, suffering nothing to escape. These nets did not discriminate as to which of the 27 species of fish swimming in the waters were captured. All kinds of fish were gathered the clean and unclean together. They were then separated out into baskets or vessels according to the good and bad.
Jesus is teaching that the final judgment will reveal those who are truly Christians and saved. In the mortal visible Church there are many false disciples. There are in our Churches both wicked men along with the righteous good, sitting in its pews and standing in its pulpits preaching the gospel. In the final judgment there will be a separation between the two.
Our Fruits often reveal both true and false disciples. We know the there are some who seem to be genuine today that may not persevere to the end. We also know that there are some who will become believers that may not have heard the gospel yet.
Until the final day, Jesus will continue fishing for and with sinners to seek and save the lost. He is allowing the wicked and righteous to grow and build churches together. In the end the final harvest of the saints will separate us into Gods Kingdom. The wicked and false disciple sinners will be cast into the lake of fire. (Matthew 13:30) Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’
What kind of fish are you? Are you clean or unclean?