The Parable of the Fish Prison: A Reminder
From time to time I go back and read this parable. And Christ again reminds me I am free in Him. But free to ‘what’? Free to love others as He did. Free to follow His Spirit as He leads. Free to draw as near to Him and as close as I can. For, “In Him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28.
Imagine standing on the bow of a large ship in the vast ocean. Looking out on miles and miles of beautiful open sea. Out there, bobbing around in the water, as far as you can see, are fish tanks—aquariums. Some square. Some round. Some large. Some small. In the aquariums, are fish. Some alone. Some with other fish.
Are these fish really in the ocean? No. They’re looking through glass at the ocean.
They may want some of the fish who swim by to come get in the aquarium with them or they may want to get out. Those other fish look in and see what? Water which is a little murky. Some fake plastic plants. A motorized life support system which keeps oxygen in the water. The fish behind the glass need to be fed by someone else.
Those fish outside the glass may wonder just what is going on in there. Why would they really want to be a part of it? The fish inside look imprisoned.
Have we forgotten what it means to be free in Christ? Or have we never known?
Have we forgotten what real open water is like? Or have we never known?
Have we become keepers of our aquarium?
We need to be helping fish find open water. Fish can’t live free in an aquarium. We, as fish whom Jesus has loved, are to be ‘open seas fish’, as we go, loving other fish. We are captives He wants to set free. Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18. But we are no longer captives if we are His. He has set us free.
Yet we have accidently, and also purposely, built for ourselves, aquariums…’personal’ and ‘religious’ aquariums.
Live beyond the glass.