The Parable of the Net

11 08 2013

Over the summer we’re doing a series on parables at church, and this morning’s was The Parable of the Net. I’d never even heard of it before! Neither had the girl next to me, neither has my housemate! Have you?!

Matthew 13:47-52
47 ‘Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 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. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 ‘Have you understood all these things?’ Jesus asked.
‘Yes,’ they replied.
52 He said to 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.’

So as mentioned last week, I thought I’d share some of my notes from the sermon incase they’re helpful to anyone out there on the internet!

In this parable, the net represents the gospel. The gospel is to be put out to all mankind, there is no discrimination.
God so loved the world. – The gospel is for all!
In Matthew 4vv18-20, Simon Peter and Andrew are called to be fishers of men.
All we have counts for nothing really, the one thing we really need is eternal life.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Our responsibility is to share the gospel with all we come into contact with. It’s never too late. For example the criminal on the cross in Luke 23, Jesus didn’t discriminate there!
We mustn’t write people off because they’re drunkards, criminals, or even because we think that they wouldn’t want to know.
On the last day, the net will be sifted with all mankind, but it won’t be us who decide. The criteria has been set by the fisherman, that is, God. The criteria is not who is good or who is bad. It is not who is in or out of church. All have fallen short of God’s glory. The criteria is who has accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Who is saved, who is not.
We have a responsibility, let’s take it seriously.



3 responses

11 08 2013

Hi Ineke, it is a seldom read passage. However I’m not sure the net represents the Gospel. The parable is about the day of judgement, and personally I think the net represents the Law. For all have sinned under the Law, so we are all caught. The Gospel is however important as the fish selected “good” fish have responded to the Gospel. As Alison mentioned they are not good because of their behaviour but because of their acceptance of Jesus’s sacrifice and redemption. The interesting part for me is verse 52. It’s not immediately clear how this fits with the rest of the story, and I intend to meditate on this next week.

11 08 2013

Hi George, that’s a really good point. Yea the last bit seems so separate, it would be good to look into it more! I will try to do that this week too, I’d be interested to hear what you come up with.

12 08 2013

I would have thought, judging by the rest of the passage, that this whole message is directed to teachers of the law. The things they bring out of their storehouse would represent their teaching – new treasures being what they know now, and the old, being the old messages (maybe old testament ‘Law’ and new testament – salvation). I find it interesting because the immediate understanding of this passage seems to be – be good otherwise you get thrown into the fiery furnace. However the last part actually gives it a different twist because it says ‘every teacher of the law who has BECOME a disciple (etc.)’, which implies that teachers of the law aren’t automatically disciples of the kingdom of heaven. Additionally, the storehouse analogy includes old and new ‘treasures’ so doesn’t seem to be talking about those who are saved and those who are not (since they are both treasures and nothing is thrown away) – this would support the teaching message. Maybe, then, the passage is a warning to teachers to preach both the old and the new – we need to understand the old law to know that we have fallen short, but we need the new law so we can be saved. Otherwise with just the old people will be trying to keep the laws standards, and with just the new, people wouldn’t realise their need for salvation. This then, in turn, gives a whole new meaning to the analogy of the fish – instead of the sorting being due to the law (how good we are), it is due to those who are saved (those who have accepting the new – that is, Jesus). That’s my two cents!

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