Good Fish, Bad Fish
Ryan Duncan. Editor at TheFish.com
“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” – Matthew 3:12
One of my favorite summer vacations was the year my father, sisters, and I flew down to Key Largo, Florida. It was a pretty action packed weekend for the four of us. We went scuba diving in the mornings, kayaked in the afternoons, drove to the everglades when we wanted a change of scenery, and went swimming at the beach with other families. Finally, our last activity for the trip was to take a charter boat out to the open ocean and go fishing, which was much harder than it sounds. Ocean fish tend to be a lot stronger than fish in lakes or rivers, and most of them broke my line before I could reel them in.
Finally, after struggling for minutes with what I assumed was a miniature blue whale, I managed to pull in your average Red Snapper. A few people congratulated me on my catch, and the captain mentioned that if I was hungry Red Snapper made for a good meal. Then moments later it was my Father’s turn to get a bite. My dad struggled briefly with the line before reeling in a very large, very angry looking eel. For a minute everyone on the boat just stood there watching the eel as it hissed and shook itself wildly on hook. You could tell we were all thinking the same thought, “There is no way I’m touching that thing!”
Finally, the captain stepped forward, cut the line, and the eel fell back into the water much to everyone’s relief. I bring this up because Jesus told a similar fishing story in the Parable of the Net.
“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 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. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.” – Matthew 13:47-50
It may be odd comparing humans to fish, but the parable still stands. A fisherman has no use for a hissing eel, and God really has no place for humans who refuse to acknowledge him or ignore his word. The difference is that God never stops casting out his net. He wants to be a part of our lives, which is why he sent Jesus in the first place. So let yourself be caught by Christ, he is the only fisherman that sets his captives free.
Intersecting Faith and Life
Set aside some time this week to be alone with God.