Cheddington St Giles Mid Week Communion
Gospel Matthew 13
The Parable of the Net
47 "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 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. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 "Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked.
"Yes," they replied.
52 He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."
Last week – parable of Sower – purpose of parables explained. Followed by Weeds among Wheat, Mustard Seed, Yeast. What have they in common? All about Kingdom of Heaven. How do we know? Because nearly all say ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like...’
Last 3 parables lumped together. ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like...’ 1 Treasure hidden in a field 2 A merchant selling fine pearls and 3 A net thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind.
Have you thought what they might mean? Why does the pearl dealer sell everything he owns to get the pearl of great price? If the prize pearl represents the Kingdom, what does it mean that we have to divest ourselves of all other pearls?
Or the man to finds hidden treasure in a field. He sells all he has and buys the field. What does that mean?
Today’s gospel reading is the third of the short parables. Its meaning is clearer. It’s about the last assize. Judgement falls on those who reject the kingdom. At the end of time, the net is hauled in and with it a load of fish. When the nets are examined, some fish are kept and the rest are thrown away.
Over and over again, the Kingdom is likened to something wonderful and unique. We have to make whatever sacrifice is necessary in order to fit ourselves to join the righteous. All is not rosy – judgement awaits those who miss the mark.
The meaning of the parable’s ending though is far from clear. The disciples say they understand. Then Jesus says every teacher of the law is like the owner of a house, who brings from his storehouse new treasures as well as old.
What does that mean? I leave you to reflect on what is being said here during the next week, and let me know what it says to you.