Jesus performed several miracles with fish, and ate fish on more than one occasion in the Bible. There was the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14. Similarly there was a feeding of 4,000 people with just a few fish and loaves of bread in Matthew 15. Then there was the temple tax story in Matthew 17, where Peter found a coin to pay his tax in the mouth of a fish, just as Jesus had said.
In Luke 5, Jesus provided for the disciples with fish. This gave them food to eat, and merchandise to sell for money. Luke 5:4; “4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”
Perhaps the most frightening analogy is in Matthew 13:47-50. Jesus compares God’s decision on who will go to heaven or to hell (“the fiery furnace”) at the end of this world to fishers sorting out their catch. 47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Why are there so many stories about fish in the Bible? Jesus used examples the people could relate to, talking about things that were common or at least known in their lives. Fish was a large part of the lives of the people of that time. It was a major food source and a source of livelihood. This showed the disciples that Jesus cared about their day-to-day routines and understood their needs.
Even today fish is known as a very healthy food, at least if caught wild in clean waters. You may have heard about the benefits of fish oil in today’s diet. Wikipedia discusses many reasons to take fish oil, including the main benefits of anti-cancer effects, heart and blood pressure health, but also 27 other conditions for which there is less evidence including mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.
Jesus Christ is known as the fisher of men and was sometimes symbolized by the Ichthys fish symbol. While Jesus didn’t take fish oil capsules, He certainly ate fish, as did the people of His time. But indulge me while I make correlations between Jesus, and the benefits of fish oil. The heart is important to Jesus, evidenced in Mark 12:30. Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to “30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ And Jesus urges us in Luke 6:45 to have good things in our hearts: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Fish oil is also said to help mental health or the mind. But Jesus can do more. See Luke 24:45: “Then he (Jesus) opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” How did He do that? Do you think He wouldn’t do the same for us if we ask Him?
Romans 8 has some interesting things to say about the mind controlled by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:6 states: “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Next is Romans 8:27: “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
As my last example I will use depression. The world has drugs and doctors to deal with this illness. Fish oil is sometimes used to help depression. But look at these promises in the Bible on helps to our mental state through Jesus:
Romans 5:1; 1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Psalm 4:8; 8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety,” Psalm 25:16-17; 16 “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish,” and finally Ecclesiastes 5:18; 18 “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.”
I hope that these Scriptures encourage you and suggest that you lean only on Jesus for all your healing needs.