Good fish and bad weeds - 11 March 2022
By Xanthe Hancox
- Matthew 13:47-50
“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish. When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into their buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away. It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth.
We’ve been looking at some of the kingdom parables this week; parables about the value of the kingdom of heaven and the price Jesus paid so we might enter it, and God’s endless patience and grace. But there are other kingdom principles that address God’s judgment of sin and evil that we cannot ignore.
Jesus’ parables include stories about the Lord separating weeds from wheat at the final judgment, and about a net from which edible fish are separated from fish that cannot be eaten. The kingdom, too, calls for separation. And the Lord is the one in charge of judgment.
Fish do not know if they are going to be kept or discarded. But Jesus knows his fish. He can see through our facades; he knows our hearts; he knows whether we have placed our trust in him. And unlike fish, we can have assurance that we will not be tossed aside when the final judgement comes (read Jesus’ words to Martha in John 11:25-26 if you’re looking for some this morning).
Good fish and bad fish, wheat, and weeds – Jesus uses these images to remind us that he sees what is in our hearts. He also reminds us to recognize and proclaim a coming judgment, when good and evil will be eternally separated.
But the upcoming judgment teaches us to put aside selfish pleasures and choose to do what pleases God and has eternal value. By grace and in God’s strength, we can do this.
Prayer: Father in heaven, guide us to commit daily to live for you. And may our lives promote commitment to our faithful Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen