Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, part 3

We saw how the Kingdom of Heaven was presented in two previous parables (part 1 and part2). We can’t look at just these two when there’s a third parable about the kingdom of heaven in the next 4 verses. Matthew 13: 47 – 50:
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.
Just before these verses Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was like a treasure hidden in a field or like a merchant looking for pearls. Now it’s a net. And not any kind of net. There were 2 types of nets back then. One was thrown from shore by the fisherman and the other, the kind mentioned here, a sagene, was a drag net. This term is a unique term. It is a very, very large net maybe covering one half mile of area.

One end of this large net was attached to the shoreline and the other end was attached to a boat. The boat sailed out and away, looping around and back to make a circle. It swept into this massive net a ton of fish.

Because the top of the net had floats, it floated on the surface of the water. The bottom of the net had weights which sank to the bottom so that the net moved through the sea like a giant wall gathering everything.

Well, that kind of summarizes the preaching of the gospel. God casts his net into the world, the lake in this parable is the world, and “all kinds of fish” go into the net, meaning Jews (part 1) and Gentiles (part 2). And we’ve got good and bad fish. Jesus himself explains that the good and bad fish are the wicked and the righteous and then we get a picture of hell with the fiery furnace and weeping and gnashing of teeth. What do you think of this parable?

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