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The Fishing Net


   PART II: THE PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM

            CHAPTER 8


                             Introduction

              This parable is the culmination of the parable of the
         Wheat and Weeds.    That is, its teaching begins where the
         parable of the Wheat and Weeds stopped.  This is the third
         parable Jesus taught his disciples privately.  The Parable of
         the Fishing Net is found only in Matthew 13:47-50.
 

The Story
                 "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
                   fiery furnace, where there will be
                   weeping and gnashing of teeth."  (Matthew
                   13:47-50, New International Version). 

              At least four of Jesus' disciples were fishermen and the
         rest understood how fishermen fished in that day.  The net
         (Greek, SAGENE) was a dragnet or large seine (trawl), pulled
         by a boat.    The large net was pulled to shore when it was
         full.  Then the fishermen sorted the good fish from the bad.
         The good fish were placed in vessels, but the bad were thrown
         away. 
                                     

                         The Interpretation

            The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds teaches us that both
         God's people and Satan's people will be together on earth
         until the judgment.  In that parable we learned that we are
         not supposed to separate the two groups of people.

         The parable of the Fishing Net teaches us that God will command
         his angels to separate the two groups.    Jesus did a partial interpretation.
         Here, are the story characters and the real persons that they represent:

       1. Fishermen                Angels
       2. Good fish                Christians (sons of God)
       3. Bad fish                   Evil people (sons of Satan)
       4. The lake                  The inhabited earth and the place of departed
                                         spirits.

       5. Dragging the net       God acting through his angels to gather all
                                         humanity of all time.

       6. The furnace of fire   The place of eternal punishment.

              The interpretation of the story is as follows:  At the  end of the age,
         God will command his good angels to gather  all of humanity, dead and alive,
         from all time, both good and bad.  Through his good angels, he will remove
         the evil people and place them in the place of eternal punishment. 
 

                            Central Truth

              A FINAL DAY OF JUDGMENT IS COMING.

                            Conclusion

      Because there is a final day of judgment coming, each
         of us should insure that we are right with God.  This sobering
         truth should cause us to not be vindictive or judgmental toward
         the lost, but to speak the truth in love to them.  We  must, by all
         good means, win the lost to the Lord.  END