Topic: From Dry Bones To Fishbones -- Blocking The Way
Lesson PDF link: From Dry Bones To Fishbones
Last time, we discussed the Mario Bros. villain named Dry Bones. This time, we will discuss a close teammate of his named Fishbone. Fishbone, like Dry Bones will guard his mini-boss named Reznor and get in your way. There is a twist to him though as we will get to shortly. He will also guard King Koopa.
The first thing we are going to look at with this bad guy, is that he is specialized to water fortresses. This only includes a level called Vanilla Fortress and Bowser's Castle (Door 6)
Fishbone is another symbol of death in my opinion and symbolizes an attitude of arrogance that leads to spiritual death.
Have you ever witnessed badly with your Christian faith walk? I am sure that everyone's answer would be yes if entirely honest.
In this picture, we see that Mario is now against Dry Bones, Fishbone, and some wall spikes; notice that two of the spikes on the ceiling wall are discolored. These are trap spikes because these fall when Mario gets close. Notice that Dry Bones in this shot is throwing bones at Mario. Sometimes the spiritually dead become aggressive when there are others like him around. Haven't you noticed in life that when a group of God's enemies gather, they become more aggressive?
In our spiritual walk in Christ, there are always a lot of things to look for at the same time and this could be overwhelming at times. We always need to be ready for tricks and traps; we have to be watchful.
It's not unusual for the enemy to gang up to spread death instead of life. For example, in Jesus' day, the Pharisees were always trying to trap our Lord and gang up on Him. As you will see, Jesus handled the Pharisees masterfully.
First, I want to take a look at this Vanilla Fortress' environment, which is made of water and traps. When we walk with Christ, He is our Living Water.
Let's look at John 4: 1-45
Joh 4:1 Now when Jesus realized that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John--
Joh 4:2 although it was not Jesus who did the baptizing but his disciples--
Joh 4:3 he left Judea and went back to Galilee.
Joh 4:4 Now it was necessary for him to go through Samaria.
Joh 4:5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Joh 4:6 Jacob's Well was also there, and Jesus, tired out by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
Joh 4:7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus told her, "Please give me a drink,"
Joh 4:8 since his disciples had gone off into town to buy food.
Joh 4:9 The Samaritan woman asked him, "How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" Because Jews do not have anything to do with Samaritans.
Joh 4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, 'Please give me a drink,' you would have been the one to ask him, and he would have given you living water."
Joh 4:11 The woman told him, "Sir, you don't have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this living water?
Joh 4:12 You're not greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it, along with his sons and his flocks, are you?"
Joh 4:13 Jesus answered her, "Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again.
Joh 4:14 But whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never become thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become a well of water for him, springing up to eternal life."
Joh 4:15 The woman told him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I won't get thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."
Joh 4:16 He told her, "Go and call your husband, and come back here."
Joh 4:17 The woman answered him, "I don't have a husband." Jesus told her, "You are quite right in saying, 'I don't have a husband,'
Joh 4:18 because you have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true."
Joh 4:19 The woman told him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet!
Joh 4:20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain. But you Jews say that the place where people should worship is in Jerusalem."
Joh 4:21 Jesus told her, "Believe me, dear lady, the hour is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
Joh 4:22 You don't know what you're worshiping. We Jews know what we're worshiping, because salvation comes from the Jews.
Joh 4:23 Yet the time is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
Joh 4:25 The woman told him, "I know that the Anointed One is coming, who is being called 'Messiah'. When that person comes, he will explain everything."
Joh 4:26 "I am he," Jesus replied, "the one who is speaking to you."
Joh 4:27 At this point his disciples arrived, and they were astonished that he was talking to a woman. Yet no one said, "What do you want from her?" or, "Why are you talking to her?"
Joh 4:28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to town. She told people,
Joh 4:29 "Come, see a man who told me everything I've ever done! Could he possibly be the Messiah?"
Joh 4:30 The people left the town and started on their way to him.
Joh 4:31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, have something to eat."
Joh 4:32 But he told them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
Joh 4:33 So the disciples began to say to one another, "No one has brought him anything to eat, have they?"
Joh 4:34 Jesus told them, "My food is doing the will of the one who sent me and completing his work.
Joh 4:35 You say, don't you, 'In four more months the harvest will begin?' Look, I tell you, open your eyes and observe that the fields are ready for harvesting now!
Joh 4:36 The one who harvests is already receiving his wages and gathering a crop for eternal life, so that the one who sows and the one who harvests may rejoice together.
Joh 4:37 In this respect the saying is true: 'One person sows, and another person harvests.'
Joh 4:38 I have sent you to harvest what you have not worked for. Others have worked, and you have adopted their work as your own."
Joh 4:39 Now many of the Samaritans of that town believed in Jesus because the woman had testified, "He told me everything I've ever done."
Joh 4:40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there for two days.
Joh 4:41 And many more believed because of what he said.
Joh 4:42 They kept telling the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, because now we have heard him ourselves, and we know that he really is the Savior of the world."
Joh 4:43 Two days later, Jesus left for Galilee from there,
Joh 4:44 since Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
Joh 4:45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him because they had seen everything that he had done in Jerusalem during the festival and because they, too, had gone to the festival.
Have you ever been here before, meaning you believe and yet you don't know what you're believing in?
This woman is what we call a seeker; she has a general idea of what to look for, but not necessarily what it looks like until Jesus testified and backed it up with God's unfailing knowledge, wisdom and truth. When Jesus showed her what kind of person she was, there was great astonishment, conviction and zeal.
This woman didn't have a good reputation possibly because no one believed her without seeing for themselves, however if it weren't her courage despite this, then these people probably weren't going to be converted as easily.
The next thing about Living Water is that we as belivers have and spread this to every environment that we touch. Unfortunately, some enemies want to pollute our Living Water supply; they try to take a swim. Dry Bones and Fishbone are like poison to our system; they will try block the path and spread misery.
Let's look at Matthew 23: 1-15; 25-33
Mat 23:1 Then Jesus told the crowds and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 "The scribes and the Pharisees administer the authority of Moses,
Mat 23:3 So do whatever they tell you and follow it, but stop doing what they do, because they don't do what they say.
Mat 23:4 They tie up burdens that are heavy and unbearable and lay them on people's shoulders, but they refuse to lift a finger to remove them.
Mat 23:5 "They do everything to be seen by people. They increase the size of their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.
Mat 23:6 They love to have the places of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,
Mat 23:7 to be greeted in the marketplaces, and to be called 'Rabbi' by people.
Mat 23:8 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' because you have only one teacher, and all of you are brothers.
Mat 23:9 And don't call anyone on earth 'Father,' because you have only one Father, the one in heaven.
Mat 23:10 Nor are you to be called 'Teachers,' because you have only one teacher, the Messiah!
Mat 23:11 The person who is greatest among you must be your servant.
Mat 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Mat 23:13 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom from heaven in people's faces. You don't go in yourselves, and you don't allow those who are trying to enter to go in.
Mat 23:14 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows' houses and say long prayers to cover it up. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation!
Mat 23:15 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make a single convert, and when this happens you make him twice as fit for hell as you are.
Mat 23:25 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but on the inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Mat 23:26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that its outside may also be clean.
Mat 23:27 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people's bones and every kind of impurity.
Mat 23:28 In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Mat 23:29 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous.
Mat 23:30 Then you say, 'If we had been living in the days of our ancestors, we would have had no part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'
Mat 23:31 Therefore, you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Then finish what your ancestors started!
Mat 23:33 You snakes, you children of serpents! How can you escape being condemned to hell?
This is just a couple of portions of these harsh words from our Lord. In the game, Fishbone cannot be reasoned with; he just needs to be avoided. Mario cannot kill him (the cape is useless against him). The Pharissees in these passages were much like Fishbone (spiritually useless). We are no good to God if we don't listen to Him. These Pharisees aren't alone in their sins, as there are many even now days that try to look righteous and aren't. These are deadly people to run into and attempt to reason with because they will not listen to anything or be anything except falsehood. In the spiritual life a "Fishbone" type of person will create a "Dry Bones" type of person. In other words, the chronically arrogant and unresponsive to Christ will deceive many and hope that these will become like they are. Unfortunately, sometimes deceptive teachings are too deeply entrenched to be undone. These people, unless they eventually understand and repent, will be lost. Fortunately, freshly deceived people can sometimes just be shown what's wrong and will repent. God has a lot of work to do. I am glad that He is the master of this tough job. We can't allow our Christian walk get polluted by death.
What have we learned?
The Pharisees were playing like they were righteous and rich toward God, but they were far from it. The woman at the well was genuinely seeking and Jesus came near and spoke the language for her heart and others to understand that would.
The Pharisees were genuinely bankrupt like our last character's picture. His name is Uncle Pennybags from SNES Monopoly. He has just lost his game and is broke. This is what he gets for trying to pay rent where he cannot afford. This is Fishbone's last stage, which is spiritual poverty and death; when it's too late, it's really too late. A victim of Fishbone for this lesson is lost forever when physically dead with no repentance. Hell is guaranteed to be never a good place. Notice as well what Uncle Pennybags has in his right hand; yes, that's right, a fishbone. The right hand is a symbol of strength biblically, but with the spiritually dead, it's the opposite. There's no food, living drink, or satisfying anyone who is like this in the spiritual without Jesus to intervene. We can never lose sight of God and the life giving law of faith, grace and then genuine good deeds and works. Fishbone is literally spiritual death and sometimes physical; we must never be like him, or we will end up like the Pharisees of Jesus' day and on the outside of God's kingdom looking in. Once in Jesus' care, believers will never be left alone, never forsaken, always satisfied with real blessings and fulfilment that only come from Christ.