July 8, 2010

Fishers of Men and Women and Boys and Girls

The fish was an early symbol of Christian faith.  It is thought that the early Christians chose it for several possible reasons:
  • the Greek word for fish (ICHTUS), fits nicely as an acrostic for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior"
  • Persecutors of Christians would be oblivious to the fish as a Christian symbol.
  • Jesus' linked His ministry with fish: he chose several fishermen as disciples and declared he would make them "fishers of men."
During the persecution of the early church, it is said that if a Christian met a stranger, he would draw a single arch in the sand. If the other person was a Christian, he would understand the meaning of the arch, and would complete the drawing of a fish with a second arch, identifying himself as another Christian.. But if the second person was not a Christian, he would not understand the half-symbol and could not complete the fish.  The Christian would know not to reveal himself as a Christian and possibly be subjected to persecution.

Related Bible Verse:

 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18)


  1. Loved the little history lesson. Thanks! And the stone fish are beautiful.


  2. Thanks, Dawn! I've always thought the story was so interesting of how the early Christians identified themselves to each other by drawing a fish in the sand/dirt. Glad you enjoyed it, too!