The Parable Of The Bad Fish

The Parable The net is a seventh parable in Matthew 13. It paints a picture of a Dragnet that catches all kinds of fish. The net is in and loaded on the shore and the fish are sorted. The good are stored in vessels while the bad are thrown away.

Fishing in Bible times – as today – could be done in different ways. When Jesus instructed Peter to catch your fish and look at it now for a coin, he referred to the kind of fishing that would we be done with a line and a hook (Matthew 17:27). A 2nd way use a casting net – As you’re filling it with a cord that will close the opening and trap the fish. This was the method Peter and Andrew were using when Jesus called them to follow Him (Matthew 4:18). Dragnet referred to in our text is known today as a travel net. And Jesus’s time, please long and wide net could reach out to a half a mile wide. They would be attached behind one or more boats. The top of the net would have floats attached to it, while the bottom would have weights. Has the boats moved through the water the dragnet would catch everything in its way. Silently,almost imperceptibly, the net passes through the water, and gathers fish. Most of the time these nets are there one moment and gone the next. They move at the determination of the vessels captain. The net travels first through one part of the sea, then through another. It may be here today and somewhere else tomorrow. Such a net could bring in any size or kind of fish, unclean or clean, living or dead.

Next, Jesus pictures the net coming to shore and the fishermen sorting the good fish into containers while the bad fish are discarded. This scene would have been very familiar because I was listening to these parables. Even children regularly watched fisherman sit down next to the couch sorting out the fish.

The Substance

What is the main message Jesus wants to teach at five just parable? opening next clear that Jesus is giving us a picture of one subject of the Kingdom of Heaven. We could be Define His kingdom as a realm where He gathers people in order to rule them graciously by His Word and Spirit. However this realm contains a mixture of those who profess to belong the kingdom but in their hearts do not truly belong there. Just as the first parable in this chapter shows that only one of the four soils produce a good fruit, so this parable shows that there are “good fish” and “bad fish” in how the Kingdom of Heaven appears.

As the Lord’s commands, the Kingdom of Heaven moves rather interceptibly through the world. It gathers within it not on,y true subjects of the kingdom but also many others like Judas, Ananias, and Sapphira, Demas, and many others who were indeed in the kingdom but the kingdom not in them. There are essentially two separations in this Parable: the first is by the net and the second is on the shore.

Jesus explicitly explains what the separation on the shore refers to in Matthew 13:49

So shall it be in the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.

Matthew 13:49

Notice that He unpacks the difference between the good fish and the bad fish as between “the wicked” and “the just.” This is not simply a division between the good and the bad, for then there would be only one good – Jesus Christ – and everyone else would be cast away. On the basis of the rest of Scripture we can say that the just are those who have been justified by a true and living faith (Romans 5:9). These just were just as wicked as the rest of nature, however, they have been acquitted before the court of God on the basis of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, offered on their behalf. After all the Parable is ultimately focused on the judgement.

The Lord is speaking abuse separation that will take place at the end of the world. At the final judgement, it will clearly appear who Jesus has redeemed from the curse of the law.

Jesus specifically mentions angels. Among the various tasks that angels have been given there is that of dividing between believers and unbelievers at the judgement (Matthew 13:41), (Matthew 25:31-32). As faithful, holy, and spiritual beings, they will discharge their duty swiftly and exactly. They will separate according to God’s standard. What a perfect separation that will be. Not one wicked person will make it into heaven; not one of God’s people will accidentally be lost in hell. No person will plead his own cause. All that Matt is what orders the Lord will be given to the angels, and Jesus is revealing that to us here.

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