Matt 13:47-51 Parable of the Net CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this lesson we will study the parable of the net and the work of scribes in the kingdom of heaven. The parable of the net concerns the gathering of saved and lost at the end of the world. Remember that this parable concerns the end of the world, so it is going to deal with events at the 2nd Advent, when the devil, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), is chained in the bottomless pit (Rev 20). This parable, therefore, is not about the white throne judgment.
The Lord used a very common fishing technique to teach us another aspect of the kingdom of heaven. Here, fishermen cast a net into the sea. The way they did it is found in Jn 21:3-11. They have a long net that they used as a gill net or a seine. Once it was full, they dragged it to the shore to count and sort the catch. Some of what they brought up was good for food and the other stuff was trash fish. In this parable the good fish represent saved people who are kept and the trash fish represent wicked people who are burned in hell.
The net – Eze 12:13; Eze 32:3; Ecc 9:12 the Lord has a net that he uses to catch men. Thus, when he began his ministry, he selected at least four men who were fisherman and that knew how to use a net for fishing (Matt 4:18-19).
The sea – There is a great body of water between the third heaven where God is and the first heaven where we are. Thus, casting a net from heaven to the earth would be likened to casting a net into the sea (Gen 1:7; Ps 148:4; Rev 15:2)
Every kind – everyone is going to be judged at some point. Following the church age, the period of time when the kingdom of heaven is in mystery form, there will be a judgment of the nations that will all be gathered before the Lord (Matt 25:32).
The shore – the shore is the place where the net ends up when the fishing is over. It is the place where the fish are sorted in front of the fishermen (Matt 25:31-32).
Sat down – the Lord will be “sitting” on his throne of glory when he judges the nations (Matt 25:31).
The good – the good are gathered into vessels and this is like the blessed that inherit the kingdom that was prepared for them (Matt 25:34).
The bad – the bad were cast away like the cursed are sent away into everlasting punishment (Matt 25:41, 46).
The angels – the angels will be with the Lord at this judgment (Matt 25:31). They are the ones who will sever the wicked from among the just (Matt 25:32).
The furnace of fire – the furnace of fire is hell; it is an everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41). Those who worship the beast or take his mark will be cast in here (Rev 14:9-11). The beast and the false prophet will be cast in here (Rev 19:20). This furnace of fire will be visible during the millennium (Is 66:23-24). It will be located in Edom (Is 34:5-10 [Idumaea is the northwestern region of Edom below Judea and Bozrah is situated south of the Dead Sea]). It is what is commonly called “hell on earth.”
Following teaching his disciples by these parables, Jesus asked them if they understood all these things. They said “Yea, Lord.” What they didn’t understand, he explained to them (Matt 13:36), what they did understand, the Lord had revealed to them (Lk 10:21). Thus they were scribes instructed in the kingdom of heaven. This made them like a householder who had a treasure (Ps 119:72) of things old (Old Testament) and new (New Testament).