That’s No Fish Story

I like to go fishing. And the most enduring memories I have is when I have caught some BIG
fish! In fact, I’ve got pictures!………at least I think I do. (Somewhere, I know I have pictures!)
Over the years, I’ve caught two good size tiger muskies, several large northerns, and a decent
number of good size Largemouth Bass – not to mention some jumbo panfish.
There’s nothing like hooking into a big fish – the battle with the mysterious monster as it dives
deeper, the tension of keeping the fish hooked without breaking the line, and the excitement as
the fish is pulled in close and you get a glimpse, and the exhilaration when the lunker is landed.
Oh, there’s nothing like it! And the only thing that might be actually better is the joy of telling the
story. And for all you non-fisherpeople out there, that is exactly why we fisherpeople love fish
stories! And so it should be no wonder that the size of the fish tends to grow with the number of
times we tell the stories.
And that’s where we get the proverbial phrase, “That sounds like a fish story!” To translate:
“That story sounds exaggerated at best, and pure fiction at worst.”
Let me clearly proclaim: The Book of Jonah is no fish story. Along with Noah and the Ark, the
story of the prophet Jonah in the Bible is perhaps the book most commonly produced as a
children’s book, complete with illustrations. And over the course of history, it’s one of the most
commonly doubted stories of the Bible. The tale of the reluctant prophet and his 3 night stay in
the belly of the fish has produced endless speculation as well as skepticism.
But according to Jesus, it was no fish story at all. Not only did Jesus regard the tale of Jonah as
a historical reality, he regarded it as a precursor that pointed to the greatest moment in history –
his own resurrection.
History tells us that the blubber of whales produced oils for 18th century lamps to light up dark
places. Thousands of these mammals were hunted, making some very wealthy. But their value
pales in comparison to the treasure that we have in the Biblical book of Jonah. The truth that
we can harvest from it produces eternal results and present profit for our walk with God. Join us
as I preach through this little book that is packed with wisdom.
Your Partner in the Gospel,
Pastor Ryan Sarenpa
God is Good, All the Time!

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