Monday, March 7, 2011

ΙΧΘΥΣ : the "Jesus Fish"

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From Wikipedia, ΙΧΘΥΣ is an acrostic of the word (meaning 'fish' in Greek), which would spell out:
"Jesus Christ God's son Savior" in ancient Greek "Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ", Iēsous Christos, Theou Huios, Sōtēr.
  • Iota (i) is the first letter of Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς), Greek for "Jesus".
  • Chi (ch) is the first letter of Christos (Χριστός), Greek for "anointed".
  • Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (Θεοῦ), Greek for "God's", the genitive case of Θεóς, Theos, Greek for "God".
  • Upsilon (u) is the first letter of huios (Υἱός), Greek for "Son".
  • Sigma (s) is the first letter of sōtēr (Σωτήρ), Greek for "Savior".

I'm going to spare repetition about symbolic significance, aside from one major point, which was the inspiration for my choice of title for this blog: the ΙΧΘΥΣ symbol was a secret way of identifying friend from foe, and declaring one's faith in Jesus Christ, while under persecution.

Is our world today much different? Yes, in America we are mostly safe from persecution by the government or by the military or by mobs. But the majority opinion of Christianity is hostile (this is something I'll be sure to speak more about in upcoming blog posts). We may not be oppressed, but if you query about the condition of Christianity in the West, you'll see that God's Word is hated. Worse, there are traitors in our midst, false teachers and false converts, who do not have the holiness of God. How can we know friend from foe?

I'm certainly feeding a fantasy for now, but I'm dreaming of bringing back the Fish. True followers of Christ are going to need to be able to identify each other when the future inevitably turns sour toward us once again. After all, the last 300 years or so of Christian freedom in America has been a step out of, away from the norm. It is not normal for a nation to be predominantly Christian, and a safe haven for people of all religious persuasions. I strongly suspect that the tide will change soon, but we may be fortunate--our lives may not be demanded from us; we may die before things get too much worse. But will we be prepared to die, regardless? No man knows the future. (I keep getting ideas for future posts. One about mentally preparing for the reality of persecution and martyrdom will be essential). Therefore, we should be ready for anything to happen.

The fish is not my main point in writing this blog. The meaning of the fish is. I see its meaning as symbolic of Christian perseverance through faith in God in the midst of great persecution.

It will come, faster and more uncomfortably, as time marches onward toward His Return. The question is--will you stand fast and claim Jesus as your King, or will you accommodate the demands of an ungodly culture until you find yourself rejecting Christ, lest you make too much noise and stir the angry crowd and bring its wrath upon your head? Who's wrath ought you to be frightened of?

Remember what we're here for. A life of comfort is not what we are called to. He never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it.


1 comment:

  1. Hello Erik;

    Praise God you hit the nail on the head. This world is becoming increasingly hostile toward the Living God of the Bible as it increasingly embraces any and all other religious beliefs.

    That tells me a lot. It is one strong piece of evidence that the Living God of the Bible is the one and only true God.

    Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. Mark 12:29

    Jesus said "The Father and I are one." John 10:30