February 24, 2022

Discover God’s Blessings In Your Life

“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.”  So, they went out and got into the boat.  John 21:3

In the Upper Room Jesus told His disciples what was about to happen. They were at a Passover meal, and as part of that celebration Jesus took a loaf of bread and broke it: “This is my body,” He told them. Then He took the cup and said, “This is my blood… which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24).

What Jesus did became the pattern for all Christians everywhere who celebrate the death of Christ and the covenant that He made with His disciples–something which has come to be known as Holy Communion.

If, however, a third element should have been part of that worship ritual, I think it would have been the inclusion of fish as one of the elements. Why? Think of the number of times in which you find fish included in the basics of life.

At least three of the disciples–Peter, James and John–were fishermen. They were all from the little village of Bethsaida at the northern end of Galilee. Until Jesus came walking by the shore that day as they dried their nets and said, “Follow me and I will make you to fish for men,” fishing was about all that they knew.

When Jesus was asked about paying taxes to the Romans, He told one of the disciples to go fishing. “Take the fish that comes up first,” He said, “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.”  So, a fish satisfied the needs of the Romans.

On another occasion He used fish as an illustration of a basic necessity. “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?” (Luke 11:11, KJV).

And don’t forget that it was a little boy’s lunch consisting of five small loaves of bread and two fish that He used to feed a vast multitude of people.

After the resurrection, fish was on the diet at least twice. When the disciples were confronted by the resurrected Christ and thought Him to be a ghost, He asked, “Do you have anything to eat?” When they produced a fish, He ate it.  And when Jesus prepared breakfast for seven weary fishermen at Galilee who had labored all night without catching a single fish, it was bread and fish broiled over an open fire.

Jesus said He was the bread which came down from heaven. No, He never used a fish as a symbol of a spiritual truth, but you see fish figuring large in the provision that God makes in meeting our most basic human needs.

An interesting thing about fish is the vast array of kinds and varieties–more than 33,000 that we know of– from the whale shark which may be over 50 feet in length to the tiny goby fish, found in the Philippines, barely more than half an inch in length,

Forgive my spiritualizing, but I can’t help but think how God’s blessings and provisions come in just as many varieties, sizes, shapes and colors as do fish. Some are big blessings, and some are tiny. Like tropical fish, which convince you that God has to have a sense of humor in creating so many funny ones, some blessings make you smile or laugh; some stand with hands reaching towards heaven rejoicing, and some which simply are unexpected blessings, serendipities from the hands of a loving Father. Take stock of your blessings and remember, anything from the hand of the Father is good and should be received with rejoicing. Indeed!


Resource reading: Luke 11:1-13