The Parable Of The Net


‘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.’ Matthew 13:47-50

Jesus here describes the kingdom of God as the method of fishing used at that time. The net that Jesus mentioned is similar to a ‘seine’, a large net. This net was placed in the water, and a large circle was made with it.

Whatever was in this circle was trapped in the net. When the circle was completed and the net was full, it was pulled to shore and after the net was pulled to shore, the separation began. The good fish were gathered into vessels and anything bad was discarded.

The net, which represents the preaching of the Gospel, is cast out into the lake, which represents the world of the hearts of men. All sorts of fish are caught which represents those who respond to the Gospel.

There are multitudes of people, young and old, good and evil. The net gathers ‘all kinds’, that is, the Gospel is publicly proclaimed to all and when this is done the gospel net draws all kinds.

The meaning of this parable is straightforward. At the end of the world, there will be a separation, the wicked will be separated from the just and note that He doesn’t say anything about what will happen to those who are just.

He speaks only about what will happen to the wicked, they will be thrown into ‘the blazing fire’, and in there, there will be ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’.

This place is obviously a reference to hell, Matthew 3:11-12 / Matthew 8:12 / Matthew 25:41 / 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 / Revelation 20:15.

“Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Matthew 13:51-52

After sharing all of these parables, Jesus now asks if they have understood them, He wants to know if their minds have been opened to what He has been teaching them.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Divine truths must not be lightly passed over. Our Lord’s question here shows them to be matters of the utmost weight and importance, and that they should be considered again and again, till they be thoroughly understood.’

The person who is responsible for the keeping of the family can instruct by using old truths that need new applications. The disciples understood the old truths and Jesus was in their presence with new teachings and applications of old truths.

Smith, in his commentary, says the following.

‘So there are these glorious things that we are constantly discovering in the richness in Christ and ever discovering new experiences in the old troops. And so the faithful householder who keeps bringing forth out of the treasury these glorious things.’

Dummelow, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The old and the new old truths which God had long made known to the Jews, as well as the new truth declared by Christ.’