Fisher of Men II

Last year I spent some time looking at the McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish commercial from a theological perspective. One need not be formally schooled in the bible to recognize its religious overtones. An excerpt:

The fish has been used to represent Christianity since the earliest days of the faith — and in the commercial the mechanical fish, like Jesus, is delivering a message. That the fish is mounted on wood –in the way Jesus is depicted on a crucifix– may be heavy-handed but is a reference to the most ubiquitous and powerful image in Christendom.

This year the bearded men, stand-ins for the Apostles Peter and Thomas, are eating their Filet-o-Fish sandwiches in Peter’s El Camino. El Camino, loosely translated, is Spanish for “the way” or “the path.” Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Apostle characters are sitting in a vehicle named “the way?”

The 2010 commercial once again references John 20:25, where Thomas is doubting the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, it has a modern twist, showing up on a Blackberry, but Thomas is clearly rejecting what he is being told, insisting on physical proof.

Perhaps in next year’s version of the commercial, we will see Thomas finally accept the resurrected Jesus (John 20:27-28). It makes sense that this will occur in the third commercial, for the number three holds deep spiritual meaning.

Like last year, I’m impressed that a major corporation would embrace the Lenten season at a time when public discussion about religion is discouraged. They could just sell fish sandwiches, but instead McDonald’s recognizes the true meaning of the season.

22 thoughts on “Fisher of Men II

  1. Why are you so surprised? McDonald’s has had Filet o’ Fish sales during Lent for *years*. They didn’t become a multi-billion dollar corporation without knowing their market.

  2. Dee: I’m not at all surprised that fish is on the menu; indeed, I ate many a Filet-o-Fish sandwich as a wee lad growing up on Long Island.

    My point — which I think you’ll appreciate if you read the post a little more closely — is that the commercials are an allegory for the story of Jesus.

    That, Dee, is surprising. Thanks for reading.

  3. C’mon Rob, tell us about the time Moses defied the Burger King and was sent as a slave to work the drive through. 😉

  4. #5. Roz: I though you were joking about the price! I was in McDonald’s tonight, and yes, they’re selling two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches for $3.33.

    People thought I was nuts last year when I brought this up. Now I don’t know how it’s anything but a nod to the Christian customers.

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