January 8, 2021
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:47-50).
Back home in Arkansas there are a number of ways people fish. There’s the old fashioned way of a rod and reel with bait. People also drop a lit stick of dynamite into a lake or pond. When exploded, the concussion stuns the fish and they float to the surface. This is illegal, but some people still do it. Another method of fishing is seining. A fishing net hangs vertically in the water with floats at the top edge and weights at the bottom edge. When the ends are drawn together the fish are ‘corraled’ and can be picked out of the water by hand held nets. This method was used in ancient Israel in the days of Jesus.
If this parable seems to resemble The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, you would be right. The Gospel is compared to a net dragging along on the bottom of a lake and collecting all the fish in its path - good fish and bad. The Gospel appeals to a lot of people for a number of reasons, but not everyone who is ‘drawn’ to the Gospel is saved by the Gospel.
If you read through the Gospels and note those who followed Jesus, you will find a great number of people were drawn to Jesus, not by faith, but because of a personal agenda - they wanted something from Him, they were enamored by Him, they were curious, they hated Him and wanted to trap Him, etc.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more (John 6:60-66).
“Lord Jesus, again You remind us that not everyone who associates with the Christian faith is saved. This is a difficult truth to accept, but You have made it clear again and again. I pray Your Holy Spirit will impress upon us to make sure we present the Gospel clearly and simply even though we know some will believe, others will not. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”