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The Wichita Eagle newspaper recently ran an interesting story. There was a pond in the middle of a housing development that was kept stocked with fish. Evidently, a child had thrown a toy basketball and it rolled into the pond. One of the residents saw the ball bouncing around in a strange manner in the water. When he went to investigate, he saw a large flathead catfish which had obviously tried to swallow the ball, but which had become stuck in his mouth. It must have looked like a yummy piece of something that catfish like, but his eyes were bigger than his mouth. If you are not a fisherman, you may not know that catfish like deep water and usually swim near the bottom, so the poor catfish was trying to get down to where he normally lived after he came to the top for a meal. He was totally exhausted from trying to dive, but was unable to because the ball would always bring him back up to the surface. The man who found the catfish pulled him to the dock with a long handled net and tried numerous times to get the ball out, but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut the ball with a knife, while he held the fish, in order to deflate the ball and release the catfish.

That was one gullible catfish! He would obviously swallow anything. When I read that story I thought of the man we read about in the Scripture today, Sergius Paulus. He was swallowing whole what the false prophet named Bar-Jesus was telling him, like so many people do today.

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