Monday, September 23, 2013

The Picture of the Parable of the Net

Scripture: Matthew 13:47-48

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 

Insights:  The picture of this parable is found in today’s verses.  The imagery used by Jesus was common to everyone who heard the parable.  Basically there were three ways to fish. First, one could use a line and hook which caught fishes one at a time.  Second, one could use a casting net.  Third, one could use a drag net, which is what is being described in this parable.  Lensky, the commentator, says that some of these nets covered one half mile of area.  The following is how this net was used:  One end of this large net was attached to the shoreline. The other end was attached to a boat.  As the boat left the shore, it pulled the net into a form where the net was stretched between the boat out in the lake and the net hooked to the shore. And then the boat would begin to move in a circle. As it moved in a circle, everything in its path would be swept into this massive net. It would complete an entire circle, come all the way back to where it was attached, and would have gathered into that net all the life that was in the sea covered by that net.  The top of the net had floats, therefore, it floated on the surface of the water. The bottom of the net had weights, it sunk to the bottom so that the net moved through the sea like a vertical wall capturing everything.  Now what our Lord wants us to understand about this net is basically two things: One, the immense size of the net.  Two, the net brings in everything.  The central figure of the parable is a group of fishermen.  They're on the shore and lying there at the edge of the water is this recently drawn massive net and it is literally soaking and teeming with life, filled with the conglomerate of creatures taken from the water.  And then begins a very slow, deliberate careful, patient, unhurried, accurate, knowledgeable, skillful process of sorting out the good from the bad.  Now this scene would be very common to the people to whom our Lord spoke, particularly the disciples. They would take the good and put it into some vessels and they would just throw away the bad.  Tomorrow, we are going to examine the principle of this parable. 

  1. Do you recognize and understand that the net is very large?
  2. Do you recognize and understand that the net brings everything in?
Prayer: Father, help prepare me to understand this parable throughout this week because it is the climax of these Kingdom Parables and must be understood by all Christ-followers.  Amen.

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