Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Parable of the Net (Matthew 13: 47-51)

 “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 blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.   “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.  “Yes,” they replied.  Matthew 13: 47-51

The first thing that comes to mind when you read this parable is that when we die, we will all be taken from this familiar world like fish taken from the water in a net.  Good will be sorted from bad, righteous from wicked, and the bad will be discarded into a blazing furnace where they will suffer.  The good will be collected in baskets for use by God.  Jesus then asks his listeners: "Do you get it?" and the listeners answer: "Yes".

I think that sums it up pretty well.  I know from past experiences that the words of the Bible are unique in that they are both words to live by and they are living words.  What I mean by "living words" is that although the words do not change, the depth of wisdom and understanding that you receive each time you read the same passage or story can most certainly grow.  I don't know how it works for others but for me, sometimes I just have a simple basic understanding when I read a passage, like now with The Parable of the Net, yet I feel certain that at some point in my life I will read the same verses and see so much more.  I will visit The Parable of the Net again.

For now, it is important for me to realize that even with the grace that Jesus has won for us on the cross, God expects us to be good.  I have come to the belief that we are good because the sacrifice of Christ but maybe we need to be reminded to keep on trying.  And maybe the message provides a way for Jesus to encourage us when we encounter people who seem to enjoy tearing down or discouraging others instead of building up and encouraging those around them.

Prayer:  God thank you for reminding us to be good.  Please remind me to be a positive influence on those around me and lead me away from being negative.  Father, I also ask that each time I revisit your Word I find deeper meaning and new understanding of the timeless wisdom found in Your Living Word.  Amen 

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