Summary: A sermon on the parable of the dragnet (Matthew 13:47-50)
Sermon for 2/16/2003
The Dragnet from TV.
1. Dragnet = A system of coordinated procedures used in apprehension, especially of criminal suspects.
That program, by the way, captured the intent of this parable better than any commentary I have in my library. It was about a police dragnet which swept through the city of Los Angeles and would capture and bring in all kinds of people to be investigated, to have either their badness or goodness in the eyes of the law exposed. That is exactly what this parable is about. Incidentally, it was located in the right place, the City of the Angels, because in the parable our Lord associates angels with the judgment.
The Dragnet from the Bible (KJV and NKJV)
1. Dragnet = A large net for trawling, for catching a large number of fish.
2. "Dragnet" a large net that was often attached to two boats sometimes a half of mile wide. Fish of every kind would be gathered into the net. The net had floats and nets so as to create a wall of net so that nothing escaped. As the dragnet was filled it was hauled to the shore awaiting those who would begin the process of separation. The useful (good) fish that could be sold at market were gathered and separated from the useless (bad) fish that would be thrown away.
3. Catfish were forbidden for Jewish people. Clean fish were those having scales and fins, those without fins and scales were thrown away.
4. Last parable in a long account of parables from Jesus in Matthew 13.
Thesis: The Parable of the Dragnet gives us three thoughts for this morning. The Righteous and the Wicked will exist together until the end of the age. The righteous and the wicked will even exist together in the “church.” Lastly, only God knows the righteous from the wicked.
I. The righteous and the wicked will exist together until the end.
A. Parable of the weeds and wheat (Matthew 13:37-43)
B. Some fish are good to eat, some are not good. Dogfish or carp.
C. What makes the difference between good fish and bad fish?
1. (2 Cor 5:21 NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2. (Rom 3:21 NIV) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (Rom 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (Rom 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
D. The good and useful will be saved; and the bad and useless will be cast away.
II. The righteous and wicked will even exist together in the church.
A. Different opinions in the commentaries.
B. The dragnet could refer to the “church” (those who are connected to the church in some fashion) - Not my favorite and not the best interpretation but it does apply.
C. Some commentators believe this represents the church since other parables refer to the kingdom in this way, but Jesus in the parable of the wheat and weeds said that the field was the world. However, the world does include the church. Even the church will be judged.
D. Just because someone has their name on a church role does not reserve them a ticket for heaven.
E. At funerals, Otto- Not ever completely sure unless a baby.
F. Quote from Leon Hill, adapted- I’m a Church of Christ preacher. Some one asked me if I was one of those narrow Church of Christ people who think only people in the Church of Christ are going to heaven. Said I, “I’m narrower than that, I don’t believe half of them are going either.”
G. How can bad fish exist in the church?
1. Ungodly beliefs.
a. (Mat 16:15 NIV) "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"(Mat 16:16 NIV) Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."(Mat 16:17 NIV) Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.(Mat 16:18 NIV) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.(Mat 16:19 NIV) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."(Mat 16:20 NIV) Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Mat 16:21 NIV) From that times on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Mat 16:22 NIV) Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"(Mat 16:23 NIV) Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."