First Base Matthew 4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (ESV)
Second Base The sign of the Fish, the Cross, and the use of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha and Omega) were symbols, abbreviations, logos, or signs 1st used by 1st and 2nd century people were identifying themselves as Christians.
Third Base Logos & Symbols are used all throughout baseball to identify the various teams
Home Plate Today, the “Jesus Fish” is more likely to be found as a bumper sticker on our car or worn on a necklace. It is believed that early Christians used it too secretly to identify themselves to other believers without detection from authorities. This was done by drawing half of the symbol in the sand. If the other person identified as a Christian, they would complete the symbol. If the person was a non-believer, they would not know the secret. Every sports fan regardless of the sport they are following knows the logo or symbol of their favorite team.
A Los Angles Angels fan would never confuse the logo of the Arizona Diamondbacks even though both use the letter “A” logo. Many people use religious symbols and sports logos as a way to seek acceptance within society. Isn’t it amazing as soon as a team wins the baseball World Series, people who have never worn that logo on a hat or jersey before are suddenly wearing them whenever they go out in public? In doing so they identify themselves with a winner.
The wearing of the “Cross” and the “Fish” is so prevalent in use by Christians and Non-Believers alike we should not conclude one is a Christian by the jewelry they wear. Matthew 7:16-20 “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Most importantly we must demonstrate our commitment to Christ as expressed in John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” So if you enjoy displaying the sign of the cross or the fish, use it as an opportunity to witness to a friend, family member or your neighbor. As Jesus commanded us in our verse today, “Go Fish.”
The Final Out Lord in the 21st chapter of John it is recorded that you told the apostle Peter three times to go fishing when he said, “Feed My Lambs” vs. 15; Tend My Sheep” vs. 16; and Feed My Sheep” vs. 17. Today Lord I commit my day to be a fisher of men and women for the Kingdom. For it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that goes before me. Amen