And Jesus said, "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19.
May.....it's the month of the annual fishing contest, when all the fishermen head out onto the water in droves to see how much they can take home to their families. The fish, however, is not just good eating, it's also our Christian symbol!
In early times, the word Ichthys(greek word for fish), was used by many, this word is comprised of five greek words, Iesous Christos, Theou Yious, Soter", which when translated, means "Jesus Christ, is God's Son."
The fish symbol, which was introduced from Alexandria, Egypt, was used by the first and second century Christians as a means of identifying one another in secret due to the heavy persecution of Christians at that time by the Roman Emperor Nero who blamed the Christians for the great fire that happened in A.D. 64.
The way Christians could identify each other without direct communication was to draw a half fish symbol on walls doors, in the sand etc. so that when they met each other, they could acknowledge each other as believers without putting their lives in peril, and since at that time a good many were fishermen, the Roman authorities would not be suspicious.
For those Christians who were caught, they were met with a horrible end through torture and even being fed to the lions in the Collisium for the entertainment of thousands to watch. It was not until 307 A.D. when Constantine reigned, that Christians were no longer persecuted.
Sadly, in many parts of the world today, Christians ARE still being persecuted for their faith, killed because of their faith and even jailed for their faith. So as they continue to fish for others who follow Jesus, let us also throw our lines in the water of life and catch each other!
Blessings, Liz Ciccone