Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has given me many revelations of spiritual truth, and I want to share them with you.
This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the fish hook of truth. And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Fish Hook of Truth
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John, Chapter 14, Verse 6
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we consider some additional insight into the meanings of truth and spiritual values. To assist us in this endeavor we shall use a material analogy of a fish story. Our purpose is to show how truth operates under certain circumstances, more particularly how it interacts with the soul once the soul is exposed to it.
There is a beautiful stream. Its waters are pristine, and the banks are lined by beautiful green grass. So green is the quality of the color that it looks like it was painted on the grass. There are also beautiful oak trees that dot the landscape of the banks, as well as flowers of various colors. It is late spring on an early Saturday morning, and blue birds and robins chirp beautifully. Into this beautiful environment, a fisherman arrives to see what he can catch. He knows that this particular stream is home to quite a few fish this time of year, as he has often fished here and caught quite a few. He has a specially designed fishing pole, and a very strong but light weight line. Attached to this line is a very attractive lure, one especially designed for the fish swimming in this stream.
As everything is in order he settles down for the catch. He throws his line with the attractive lure, and almost immediately, the fish bite, and he pulls them out of the stream one by one. Towards the end of his fishing spree, he casts his line for one more fish. And initially he is not to be disappointed. The fish begins to nibble at the lure, testing to see if it is the real thing. And this nibbling goes on for a while; finally the fish bites down on the hook and is caught. This fish is larger than the others, and it seems determined not to be pulled in. Even though the hook with its barb is firmly attached in his mouth, he struggles and struggles. The more the fisherman tries to reign him in the more it struggles. Finally in one last burst of strength, the fish tears the hook from its mouth. Now this almost unbelievable feat leaves a large wound in the fish’’s mouth, but it is freed from the hook. This is the fish that got away, which is not unusual.
The fisherman smiles and says to himself: "I guess he deserved his freedom after struggling like that." After packing up his belongings, he heads for home, somewhat tired but all and all satisfied with his catch. He often wonders about the big fish that got away, and wishes that he had been able to reign it in. He sighs and says, "you can’’t catch them all."
The big fish that got away continues swimming in the stream, but it is not in the same way. The encounter with the fish hook has changed it forever. It’’s mouth is damaged, which exposes it to infections, and this means that it will not live the normal fish life. Furthermore its wound has also made it more vulnerable to its enemies. Even after the wound heals, it leaves a scar, and the mouth of the fish does not function perfectly as it did before. This handicaps him in his effort to survive, for often when he has sought to catch a smaller prey, his defective mouth has allowed the prey to escape. And so it is with this fish who had an close encounter with the fisherman.
The soul of man slumbers in the mind. It is in a nourishing moral and spiritual environment that is secure and safe. With nourishment it grows, soon to the point when it awakens, in essence being born-again. Upon awakening it finds that it is hungry for truth and thirsty for righteousness. The mind of the man does recognize these urges for what they are at first and tries to satisfy them with food and water that is unsuitable for what the soul really needs. And this material food does not satisfy the soul, and the soul becomes even more restless as the urges of hunger and thirst continue to rise. The mind tries almost everything that it can but fails to satisfy this restlessness. The soul becomes desperate and fears for its life and cries out for help. (At this point another material analogy may be in order to explain the dilemma of the doubting soul.)
A man climbs a mountain. He has a safety rope tied around his waist. And as he climbs he missteps and falls off the mountain, his fall is broken by the rope tied around his waist. As he dangles, he screams for help, shouting is there anybody out there who can save me, and a voice answers that it can. And the mountain climber says well if you are able, then please save me. The voice then says to him to cut the rope that is holding him and preventing him from falling to his death below. The mountain climber not trusting this voice as it goes against his instinct for preservation cries, "Is there anybody else out there who can save me." Unbeknownst to him, it was only two feet from the ground. Cutting the rope would have deposited him safely on the ground. In any emergency situation, there has to be an element of trust in order for the person to be rescued. Trust involves surrendering to the wisdom of the rescuer rather than holding onto fear impulses. And unless the victim yields to this trust, there is not much that can be done to help him.
Back to the story of the starving soul... The soul cries out for help, and the great Rescuer, Jesus, through His Spirit of Truth, has been watching and waiting for it to ask for help. The soul marshals enough faith and trust to allow the rescue to begin. And the Rescuer supplies living waters to soothe his raging thirst for truth and the bread of life to assuage his hunger for righteousness. The soul begins to cautiously sip the living waters of truth, and to nibble on the bread of righteousness, but only takes enough to barely sustain it. As times goes on it begins to sip more and more of the living waters, and begins to nibble more and more on the bread. Finally like the big fish in the fish story, he takes a huge swallow of the living water and eats a huge chunk of the bread of life.
And the soul returns to health. But instead of continuing to drink the living waters of truth and eat the bread of life, the soul returns back to the futile attempt of trying to satisfy this spiritual thirst and hunger by material means. The soul finds that the continuous faith and trust required to continue to partake of the living waters of truth and the bread of life is hard to do at first. Not wanting to continue to exercise this faith and trust means it will try and satisfy its needs by material methods.
But now that the soul has drunk the living waters and eaten of the bread of life, it is not the same. It now knows the better way of satisfying these continuous urges. It can never return to the days before it knew the truth, and it finds itself constantly desiring the living waters and the bread of life. Once a soul has eaten of the bread of life and drunk the living waters of truth, it refuses to be satisfied with anything less. And this restlessness of the soul continues on until the soul finally yields to the thirst for truth and the hunger for righteousness.
It must continue to exercise faith and trust in the Jesus in order to receive that nourishment essential for growth and development, even for survival, for if the soul does not eat the living bread and drink of the living waters, it eventually loses all appetite and thirst for them and dies. And the soul--having free will--can make this choice not to survive. But most souls having tasted and drunk of the nourishment of Jesus, who is the living water and the bread of life, continue to drink and to eat. becoming strong and vibrant, even to the point where they become perfect even as Jesus is perfect.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the fish hook of truth. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.