Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Parable of the Net

Jesus began the seventh and final parable in Matthew 13 by saying, "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matthew 13:47-50.

Jesus began by saying "Once again" because this was the sixth time he had said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like." All the parables in Matthew's thirteenth chapter are about the Kingdom. This parable, the Parable of the Net, teaches the same general lesson as the Parable of the Weeds (see Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43). There will be a final separation of the righteous and the wicked. Both of the parables make this point very clear. In the Parable of the Net, Jesus compares the heralding of the Gospel to the casting of the net. The disciples and Jesus' listeners were familiar with using a net to catch fish. A net was used by one of two methods. Either it was cast from the shore (or by somebody standing in shallow water) or it was let down from a boat. In either case the net would be drawn ashore or into the boat. At that point, the fisherman would sort the fish. The ones that were the right size and variety would be kept and the small ones or otherwise undesirable fish would be thrown back. In the Parable of the Weeds the question to ponder is whether we are good seed or bad; wheat or weeds. This Parable causes us to consider whether we are "good" or "bad" fish. When the Gospel is preached, many people respond to the message. The Church is like a big net that is drawn ashore or into a boat that is filled with all kinds of fish. God, who is the Judge, will ultimately determine to which category we belong.

Jesus asked his disciples, "Have you understood all these things?" Matt 13:51. "Yes," the disciples replied. Jesus asked them this question because after the Parable of the Weeds, they had to come to him for an explanation. Apparently, they got the point of this illustration. Then Jesus told them,
“Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" Matt 13:52. The reasons Jesus said this was that now his disciples had this new information to add along with what they had already learned and known about from the Word of God. Christians today teach from the Old Testament (the first 39 books of the Bible) as well as the New Testament (the last 27 books).

All of us start out as "bad" fish. The Bible states that we are all "sinners" (see Romans 3:10 & 23). We can be changed or saved through repenting of sin and by responding in faith to the Savior. What kind of "catch" are you?

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