Wednesday, March 30, 2011
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.” —Matthew 13:47–48
The television series, Deadliest Catch, features fishermen on the tumultuous waters of the Bering Sea who pull in a lot of fish using massive nets. Sometimes they pull in a few other sea creatures as well, such as a shark, an octopus, or a squid. And sometimes they even pull in some junk. It becomes a mystery as to what they are going to pull in.
That is the idea behind a parable Jesus told in Matthew 13 known as the Parable of the Dragnet. The kingdom of God is like a net being pulled through the water. And with that net, all kinds of stuff will be gathered. So our job as the church, if you will, is to pull that net through the water of our communities and grab whomever we can. Will we get some bad with the good? Of course. Will we have false believers next to true believers? No question. But we are going to have the genuine as well.
Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). The phrase “fishers of men” could be better translated, “catch men alive.” Not only that, but the phrase is used only one other time in the New Testament, in 2 Timothy 2:26, where Paul speaks of those who have been taken captive by the devil to do his will. In other words, they are caught alive by Satan.
We have a choice before us: either God will catch people alive or the devil will catch them alive. Which will it be? So let’s go fishing for men. Because these people who don’t know Jesus Christ are like people who are in prison. You could even describe them as POWs. And our job is not to search and destroy, but to find and deliver.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Have you ever doubted the Bible? Have you ever had questions about how the Bible came into being? Have you wondered about the historical reliability of the Bible? Listen. Don't feel bad about that. Let us help you. Here is a great resource that will bolster your faith and help you to defend your beliefs. This book is called Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible. It is written by Greg's friend, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, who is the pastor of the famed Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Illinois.