Lesson 160-June 25. 2018
Lesson: “The Parable of the Dragnet”
Scripture: Matthew 13:47-52
Lesson Goal: To understand that one day God’s judgment will bring eternal separation.
Introduction: Today we conclude this sections of parables by looking at “The Parable of the Net” and “The Parable of the Householder.” Both of these parables are recorded in Matthew 13. Before we move into today’s study let us take a bit of time to remember some points of importance that helps us in our study of the parables.
It certainly helps us to listen from the hearer’s perspective as Jesus taught using parables. In other words, we need to try to put ourselves where Jesus’ listeners were in everyday life. It is helpful to try to put our feet into the sandals of Jesus’ listeners. Jesus used familiar language by telling stories of familiar things and speaking with word pictures to help His listeners understand. As we look at these parables we understand that many of the things that Jesus spoke of were much more familiar to first century Jews than those of us in today’s world.
The parables of Matthew 13 are about the Kingdom of heaven. Matthew uses the phrase “Kingdom of heav- en” thirty-two times. May I offer to you a simple Town Creek version of the meaning of the Kingdom of heaven? Understand that from the Jewish mindset the rule of heaven would involve the coming of the Messiah to rule politically and powerfully upon the earth crushing the Romans and establishing His own earthly throne at the time of His coming. But Jesus begins to show and teach concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:10-17) the Messiah at His first coming did not come to reign upon a throne on earth but rather to rule and reign in the hearts of men. The Messiah would come to usher in the Kingdom but to the Jews it was an unexpected kind of coming because instead of coming with political might and military force, He came as the suffering servant with selfless love to die a sacrificial death on the cross. This Lion of Judah would also be the Lamb of God. In His first coming (birth) He is the spotless lamb. As God’s wonderful mis- sion and message of redemption began to unfold in Jesus Christ some eyes were opened to the truth by the preaching and teaching of John the Baptist (the forerunner) while others would be graced to hear and see for themselves the might works of the Lord (miracles, signs, and wonders). As Jesus spoke using parables, He was showing and teaching “mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven.” Thus He often began by saying, “The Kingdom of heaven is like.” The Kingdom of heaven refers to His redemptive rule and reign of Jesus Christ in the hearts of people.
The Kingdom of heaven in part is a present reality but let us understand it is also futuristic in part as well. We must remember that as Jesus ascended back to the Father the promise was certain that one day He would re- turn. He is coming back and the Kingdom one day will be complete. As we live the redemptive rule of Jesus Christ is ongoing in the hearts and lives of those that follow Him but one day His rule will be consummated when He returns.
As Jesus used the words, “the Kingdom of heaven is like,” He was helping His listeners to understand that same truth regarding or pertaining to the Kingdom is found in the parable.
Vv47-51 “The Parable of the Dragnet” In verses 47 and 48 Jesus shares “The Parable of the Dragnet” while in verses 49-51 He explains the parable. Once again Jesus uses very familiar language to His hearers. He paints a very real word picture. Jesus spoke in terms of fishing. This was both familiar, as well as, important to many of Jesus’ listeners. Fishing was a means of livelihood for many who lived near the Sea of Galilee.
- The first was with a literal line and hook. In this method a single fish was taken.
- Secondly, fishing was conducting using nets. One net was a rather small one man operational method.
The small net would be cast by a individual (Matthew 4:18-19, Peter and Andrew taking turns). This net was carried by the fisherman into shallow water as the fisherman visually looked for a school of fish swim- ming in the shallow water. Once spotted the net would be thrown with one hand opening into a large circle with weights around the perimeter. With the other hand the fisherman would hold a center cord. The weights would cause the net to sink and trap the fish. With the cord the fisherman would pull forming a net sack around the trapped fish.
- Thirdly, using a dragnet or rather large net that required a team of fisherman to employ. This type net covered a much larger area. This method usually involved at least two boats working together to pull the net into a large circle or by one end of the net being attached to a point on the shoreline while a boat took the net out and made a vast circular sweep. Weights were attached to the bottom of the net while floats were attached to the top of the net. This formed a net wall or “dragnet.” Usually with this type net nothing escaped. All kinds of things were caught. When the net was full it would take a team of fishermen several hours to retrieve the catch.
With this picture in mind, Jesus explains (vv49-51) that the dragnet of God’s judgment is coming. One day the judgment will come and a final separation to their ultimate destiny’s awaits. It will be everlasting life or ever- lasting death. It will be a day of separation.
Jesus closes this section by talking about “The Parable of the Homeowner.” Jesus offers a question (v51). His disciples respond that they understand. They answer Jesus in the affirmative “Yes.”
(v52) Jesus speaks of the “scribe”- a student, a teacher of the law. It literally speaks of one who writes. These scribes of the Old Testament were the theologians of Judaism. Many held places in the Jewish High Court, the Sanhedrin. But Jesus was not referencing just these recognized scribes but Jesus was speaking of these disci- ples who were learners in their own right. They would like the homeowner or head of the household be re- sponsible for the well being of those in the house (family). The homeowner (head of the house) understands the importance of the treasure. Jesus’ disciples were learning the importance of both the Old and New of the treasury.
Please explain-(Before attempting to explain please give prayerful consideration).
Found in both the Old Testament and New Testament there is a road that always leads to Jesus Christ.
During the month of July our Life Focus classes will first meet for a brief time in their classrooms to dismiss and reconvene in the sanctuary as we study together “Becoming a Welcoming Church” by Thom Rainer. We will return to our study on the Life and Ministry of Jesus on August 5, 2018.