What FINDING NEMO Teaches Us About This Important Biblical Lesson
By Anna Booher, Contributing Writer
Marlin and Dory of FINDING NEMO couldn’t have been more different from one another. Marlin worries constantly. Dory forgets constantly. However, they survive feats of land and sea to find Marlin’s son, Nemo.
They remain faithful to one another on the journey. They escape shark attacks and swim the East Australian Current without leaving each other. They have to trust each other, even though they are very different from one another. In a moment of weakness, Marlon despairs and leaves Dory, and Dory forgets Marlon. However, meeting Nemo and seeing words that jog her memory remind Dory who she is and what Marlin means to her.
David and Jonathan were also two men who were also very different from one another. Jonathan was the son of King Saul. David was the son of a shepherd. All the same, their hearts were the same. “…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1).
They both shared a love of God that guided their decisions. Though Jonathan was the prince, he knew that it was God’s Will that David be King of Israel. Saul could see this, too, through the love his people felt for David and through David’s successes in the name of the Lord. Saul became jealous. He tested Jonathan’s friendship with David.
“…Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!” (1 Samuel 20:30-31).
However, the earthly kingdom meant nothing to Jonathan next to his friendship with David. He aided David in escaping, even if that meant they would never see each other on earth again.
“Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” (1 Sam 20:42)
So many aspects of David and Jonathan’s friendship was unlikely and uncertain to earthly eyes, much like Marlin and Dory’s friendship.
How could two little fish, one with anxiety and one with memory problems, swim an entire ocean to find an even smaller fish, Marlin’s son Nemo? They had to trust in something bigger than themselves.
They had to rely on a father’s love for his son. Like Jonathan, Dory puts her own life at risk for friendship. She has nothing to gain by helping Marlin find Nemo, except for friendship. Unlike King Saul, she does not rely on her own ego or understanding of how things should be. She is guided by a father’s love for his son and by her friendship with Marlin.
Similarly, how could two boys place friendship before a powerful king? Unlike King Saul, they listened to The Lord in all they did and expected no glory for themselves. David and Jonathan knew their friendship would affect God’s kingdom long term.
David did become King of Israel. Jonathan would die with his father, but their friendship was sown into eternity and used as an example to further generations. Jonathan’s support and friendship helped David transform from a lowly shepherd into a great king. In return, Jonathan received not only a friend but a brotherhood that would last beyond his own life and into all eternity.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
In what divine ways has God bonded friends and brothers into your life?