The Kingdom Of Heaven Likened To A Net Thrown Into The Sea

Matt. 13:47-50

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48  Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."


I.    This parable speaks about the all encompassing Kingdom of God.

A.  The parable is given in verse 47 and 48.

1.   The interpretation of the parable is given in verses 49 and 50.

2.      Because God has given us an interpretation, there can be no doubt as to the meaning.

B.   Every person that will ever live on this earth is included in this parable; regardless of who they are, where they live, in what time period they live, or what religion they have.

C.   This includes every saved person, every lost person, every nationality, every color, great and small, rich and poor, male and female.


II.      Characteristics of the net of the kingdom of God.

A.  There can be little doubt that the net is cast into the sea of all mankind.

1.   The Kingdom of Heaven is represented by the net, this is very apparent by readying verse 47, “…the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net

The net doesn't represent the gospel, although the gospel is the means whereby people are gathered into the kingdom.

All are enclosed by the net (the Kingdom of Heaven), but all aren't captured by the gospel.

2.   The sea represents the world, where saint and sinner live.

3.   The net of the kingdom of God will draw every person that has ever been born into it.

4.      None will escape.

5.   The holes in the net are so small that the most insignificant person cannot slip through.

B.   It takes a long time for the net to be drawn through all the generations of men.

1.      Compare the water flowing through the holes in a fishing net with time flowing through the holes in the net of the kingdom of God.

2.   The smaller the holes are the longer it takes the water to flow through, therefore the net must be drawn slowly. 

C.   There is no place to hide.

1.   The net of the kingdom of God reaches into all of man's hiding places, forcing them toward the final separation of the righteous from the unrighteous.

2.      They have no choice in the matter.

3.      Man may think he has a perfect hiding place from God, but what man considers to be a crevice that he can hide in is nothing but smooth, flat surface to God.

4.   God sees and knows everything.

5.      Nobody can hide from Him.


III. There are three words in the Greek that are translated "net" in the King James Bible.

A.  Strongs Number 293. amphiblestron, am-fib'-lace-tron; from a comp. of the base of G297 and G906; a (fishing) net (as thrown about the fish):--net.

1.      This net is a small net that is commonly thrown by hand.

2.      Matt. 4:18, And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

3.      Mark 1:16, Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

B.   Strongs Number 1350. diktuon, dik'-too-on; prob. from a prim. verb  diko (to cast); a seine (for fishing):--net.

1.      This net is a larger net which is cast out of a boat, pulled behind to gather in the fishes.

a)   Luke 5:5-6, And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6  And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  After a nights futile fishing, then washing the nets while Jesus preached, Peter obeys the command of God to cast the ship out a little, and try again.

b)   John 21:6, 8, 11 - And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.  8  And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.  11  Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

C.   Strongs Number 4522. The word "net" sagene, (sag-ay'-nay); from a derivative of  satto (to equip) meaning furniture, especially a pack-saddle (which in the East is merely a bag of netted rope); a "seine" for fishing:--net.

1.      Matt. 13:47 is the only time this word is used in the entire Bible.

2.      This net is an all encompassing net that takes all the fish.


IV. Christ says He will make fishers of men - Matt. 4:18-20

A.  The net is the drawing of God to His kingdom by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1.      Going to all - Parable of the sower - Matt. 13:3-9

a)   Universal call - Isaiah 55:1 - eat for nothing

b)   John 7:37 - If a man thirst, let him drink.

c)   I Tim. 2:4 - Christ wants all to be saved.

d)   Rev. 22:17 - Whosoever will may come.

2.      This parable is like the parable of the tares in that it involves the entire world, and every individual in the world.

B.            Gathered of all kinds - God commands all to repent - Acts 17:30.

1.      Rev. 20:12 - The book of life at the judgment.

2.      Every person that has ever lived in God's creation will be touched by the Kingdom of God.

C.   Note the inconspicuousness of the fishermen.

1.   It is message (Christ) that is important, not the messengers.

2.   The messengers are not even mentioned in verse 47.

3.   In verse 48, they are referred to only as "they".

V.   The Interpretation of the Parable

VI. This parable doesn't state that the angels throw out the net.

A.  The parable doesn't state who throws out the net.

B.   I believe it is the fishers of men (as they are directed by God) that cast out the net.

1.      These fishers of men not only include the apostles, but people out of every generation, who cast out the kingdom net to the people of their generation.

2.   All people that God has called to present the gospel to others, He has called to be fishers of men.

C.   It is the angels that separate the fishes into two categories.

1.      This is their job.

2.   It is not their job to preach the gospel, or to judge humans.

3.      Whose job is it during various times of history?

a)   It is the job of the family from Adam to Abraham.

b)   It is the job of Israel from Abraham to Christ.

c)   It is the job of local churches of the Lord Jesus Christ from Christ until His return.

D.  Jesus Christ is the judge of all people: saved and lost.

1.      John 5:22 - "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:"

2.      Acts 10:42 - "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."

3.      Acts 17:31 - "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

4.      Rom. 2:16 - "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."


VII.      This parable doesn't speak about a general judgment.

A.  It doesn't speak about a judgment at all!

1.   It speaks about a separation that will take place.

2.   The angels do the separating, but they don't do the judging.

3.      They do the separating according to the criteria set down by Jesus Christ when He does the judging.

B.   There are two judgments.

1.      Dan. 12:1,2 is some verses that men use to teach a general judgment.

a)   These verses don't teach a general judgment, but the surety that every person will awake from death.

b)   Some will awake to everlasting righteousness, and some will awake to shame and everlasting contempt.

2.   II Tim. 4:1 - Christ shall judge the quick at His appearing and the dead at his kingdom.


VIII.     Verse 48,49 - When it was full - fullness of time.  Matthew 13:49 states, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,” 

A.  All things happen at the fullness of God's time.

1.   II Thess 2:7 - For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2.      Mark 1:15 - And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

3.   Gal. 4:4 - But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

B.   Christ will deliver us from this present evil world to Himself.

1.      Christ will send His angels to gather us to Himself.  Mark 13:27, And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

2.      Daniel 12:1,2, And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3.      Eph. 1:10 - That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

C.   There will be a separation - I Thess 4:16-18, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


IX. Disposition of the fishes.

A.  Good into vessels - we are the clay, God is the potter - Isaiah 64:8, But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

1.      Good and bad vessels - Romans 9:21, Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

B.   Verse 49& 50 talks about waste and where it goes.

1.   It is remarkable that there is nothing said about what exactly happens to the good fish, but much is said about what happens to the bad fish.

a)   There is more need of a warning of destruction and a need to declare future blessings.

b)   Men are more apt to heed a warning of future destruction than they are to work for future blessings.

C.   To say there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in the furnace of fire indicates very strongly that those cast into that place will be "alive".

1.      They will be aware of their surroundings.

a)   They shall suffer endless pain because of their rejection of God's way for them.

b)   Wicked destroyed in the Lake of Fire - Rev. 20:15,  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.