The Parable of the Dragnet, also known as “The Fishnet,” is another parable only recorded by the Gospel writer, Matthew. Jesus taught two parables depicting the present mixture and future separation involving the kingdom of heaven. The first was “The Parable of The Weeds” (The Wheat and the Tares), which was just studied. The second is “The Parable of the Dragnet”, which will now be studied. While these two parables seemingly address the same subject, there are subtle differences in which different aspects of the kingdom are being stressed.
The Parable Explained In this parable, a “dragnet” was cast into the sea. As defined by the Holman Bible Dictionary, a dragnet is “a large fishing net equipped with a weighted bottom edge for touching (“dragging”) the river or lake bottom and a top with wooden floats allowing the net to be spread across the water. Such nets were normally let down from a boat and then drawn to shore by a crew positioned on the beach. In the case of a large catch, the net was hauled to shore by boat. Once the dragnet was drawn to shore, the fish were separated; those good for eating were saved in vessels, the inedible were discarded. Just like “The Parable of the Wheat and Tares,” Jesus explains what this parable means (Matt. 13:49-50). The kingdom of heaven, in its present state, will be a mixture of good and bad, just like a dragnet gathers in both good and bad fish. But in the future, there will be a separation (13:49). It will occur at the end of the age. The agents of this separation will be the “angels.” The “wicked” will be separated from the “righteous.” The punishment of the wicked is to be “cast into the furnace of fire where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (13:50). In giving His explanation, one can see the emphasis of Jesus in this parable, and the fundamental difference between it and “The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.” The emphasis is upon… 1) The “future” separation of those in the kingdom 2) The punishment of the wicked Unlike “The Parable of the Wheat and Tares”… 1) There is nothing in the explanation related to the “present” mixture in the kingdom (Matt. 13:24-30). 2) There is nothing depicting the blessedness of the righteous (Matt. 13:43) The Parable of the Dragnet, then, reinforces the spiritual truths taught in “The Parable of the Wheat and Tares”, especially those relating to the coming judgment and condemnation of the wicked. That Jesus would emphasize the judgment and condemnation of the wicked in this parable ought to impress upon us that the “good news” of the kingdom of heaven also contains “bad news” for those who reject it. The Parable AmplifiedSince this parable focuses on the “destiny” of the wicked, let us consider what Jesus Himself taught: · The wicked will be judged (Mt. 11:20-24; Mt. 12:41-42; Jn. 5:24-30)· The wicked will be separated from God (Mt. 7:21-23; Mt. 25:41-46)· The wicked will be cast into hell (Mt. 10:28; Mk. 9:43-48; Mt. 25:41)· The wicked will suffer torment (Rv. 20:12-15; Lk. 16:22-24; 2Thes. 1:9) The Parable Applied As Jesus went about “preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Mt. 4:23), He did not hold back. He called upon the people to repent (Mt. 4:17). He warned them of the impending judgment and torment to come. If we are to proclaim the “gospel of the kingdom” faithfully: a. We must not only preach the “good news” of the kingdom… b. We must also tell the “bad news” Christ revealed through His parables and other teachings!
Applicatory Truth: Though many enter into Christendom, they will be separated on Judgment day.
The Gift of the Kingdom
The Kingdom is something which cannot be earned by man.
It is a gift from God.