Life Outside the Fish Bowl

I’ve been reading The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey for awhile now, and just finished last week. It offered an interesting look at the life and ministry of Jesus through the lens of history, the biblical narration, various insights from theologians and modern-day interpretations. It gave me a more well-rounded understanding of life during Jesus’ days as well as how cultures over the years have viewed different aspects of his teaching.

Filled with research and thoughtful commentary, I flagged many pages while making my way through the manuscript. Such as Christ’s selection of ordinary people to stand alongside him and a humbling look at Mary’s response about what God was doing in her life.

Here’s one last poignant quote from the pages of Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew that offers a vantage point about why Jesus coming to earth was so vital and how it was the only way for humanity to really begin to understand and know and love God, in spite of everything he’d done before.

Yancey writes:

"I learned about incarnation when I kept a salt-water aquarium. Management of a marine aquarium, I discovered, is no easy task. I had to run a portable chemical laboratory to monitor the nitrate levels and the ammonia content. I pumped in vitamins and antibiotics and sulfa drugs and enough enzymes to make a rock grow. I filtered the water through glass fibers and charcoal, and exposed it to ultraviolet light. You would think, in view of all the energy expended on their behalf, that my fish would at least be grateful. Not so. Every time my shadow loomed above the tank they dove for cover into the nearest shell. They showed me one 'emotion' only: fear. Although I opened the lid and dropped in food on a regular schedule, three times a day, they responded to each visit as a sure sign of my design to torture them.  I could not convince them of my true concern.

"To my fish I was a deity. ... My acts of mercy they saw as cruelty; my attempts at helping they viewed as destruction. To change their perceptions, I began to see, would require a form of incarnation. I would have to become a fish and 'speak' to them in a language they could understand."

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  1. yeah I'm gonna need to buy this book :)

  2. You really should; it was a very enlightening book! Let me know your thoughts if you do! Happy reading :)


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