‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34). What a fitting prayer for the human race in all times and places. We secretly hope that the man who prayed these words was who He claimed to be, ‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30), because that means we’ll be let off the hook. We measure our words carefully as we think our way through, ‘Yes, let me off the hook. Throw me back into the sea. I’m not big enough. I haven’t sinned nearly as much as the really big fish in this pond. Yes, let me off the hook, and I promise that the next one you catch will be worth it!’
Little we know there’s no need for this anxious monologue. God isn’t listening. No, not at all. Besides, that ‘really big Fish’ has already been hooked. He’s already been caught, and cleaned, and fried up for our feed on the shore of the lake, all by Himself. ‘Come and have breakfast’ (John 21:12). Yes, ‘for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45). Yes, we’ve been let off the hook, alright. That is, if that’s what we really want. We may yet be caught in the net, nonetheless. Any way we look at it, for us it’s still frying pan, or fire.
The boy left with the angel, and the dog followed behind. The two walked on, and when the first evening came they camped beside the Tigris. The boy had gone down to the river to wash his feet, when a great Fish leapt out of the water and all but swallowed his foot. The boy gave a shout, and the angel said, ‘Catch the Fish! Do not let it go!’ The boy mastered the Fish and pulled it on to the bank. The angel said, ‘Cut it open. Take out the gall, the heart, and the liver. Set these aside and throw the entrails away, for the gall and heart and liver have curative properties.’ The boy cut the Fish open and took out the gall and heart and liver. He fried part of the Fish for his meal and kept some for salting. Then they walked on together until they were nearly in Media…
Tobit 6:2-6 Jerusalem Bible
‘That's just a fish story. Don't try to fool me. He's a master at the fish tale. Maybe he should be a politician.’