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Monday, March 23, 2020

Parable of the Dragnet -- Part 2

For Part 1, go to my website: www.sandrakingministries.com

        Jesus says that “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones.” Matthew 13:47-48

Separation of fish began in the Older Testament. God made a distinction in the Law about what He considers clean and unclean fish. The Older Testament always ties into the New Testament. In the Law, God is distinguishing between earthly (natural) fish that are edible from those that are not. Jesus takes the natural into the spiritual because He is spiritual.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Clean and Unclean Fish According to the Law – Leviticus 11:9

        “This is what you may eat from all that is in the water: You may eat everything in the water that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or streams. But these are abhorrent to you: everything in the seas or streams that does not have fins and scales among all the swarming things and other living creatures in the water. They are to remain abhorrent to you….”    Vv9-12  In the Law, God had restrictions upon what the Israelites were to consume. He had clean and unclean animals, aquatic animals, birds, flying insects, swarming creatures. God distinguishes between the clean and the unclean. God is teaching His people about clean and unclean, holy and unholy, so they will receive the fullness of His blessing. In the New Testament, God distinguishes between the righteous (clean) and the wicked (unclean). It is not what we eat that concerns the Lord in the New Testament, but how we walk. Are we walking in the righteousness of God in Christ? God wants to us to differentiate between the holy and the profane and between truth and false doctrine.

 Peter in the New Testament had a vision of clean and unclean in Acts 10:11-47.  In God’s vision to Peter, the sky opened and “an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” V11-14 Peter was a Jew who obeyed the Law. He did not want to disobey it. God came to him a second time and said, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” God was using the clean and unclean of the Law to speak a spiritual truth to Peter. God tells Peter that he is to no longer consider what God has cleansed as unholy. Peter did not understand what God was saying to him at first. Everyone who believes in Jesus are considered clean to God. They have been cleansed by the water and blood that flowed from Jesus’ side.  Peter was somewhat confused by this. It was when he got to the house of Cornelius that Peter understood the vision. He knew that God did not show partiality “but in every nation the person who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all_-- (both Jew and Gentile). Israel as well as the Gentiles must receive God’s Son Jesus in order to be declared clean in God’s eyes.

The dragnet is the final parable of the seven in Matthew 13. The fishnet and catch of fish represent the final judgment. Hebrews 9:27-28

“Do you understand these things?” Jesus asks His disciples – Matthew 13:51

        It was important to Jesus that His disciples understand what He was teaching them in the parables. They answered, “yes.”  It is important to Jesus that His disciples understand and know the Truth. Jesus told His disciples in John 15:15 and Matthew 13:16-17 that they are blessed because they see (understand) and hear the truth. “For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people (Older Testament saints) longed to see the things you see but didn’t see them, to hear the things you hear but didn’t hear them.” In John 15: 15, Jesus tells His disciples, “I have called you friends because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father.”  A friend learns who we are and love us. Those who love Jesus and learn of Him are His friends. 

The Storehouse of Truth  (The Head of the Household)

        Jesus is the storehouse of Truth and the Head of God’s House. He is the Truth – the Word of God – brought to life. After His disciples said they understood, Jesus told them that “every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom treasures new and old.” Matthew 13:52    Jesus is the only way you can become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven. The only way you can know and understand His truth – the Word of God – is to work hard studying it. He wants us to hunger and thirst for His truth to free our spirit even more than we hunger and thirst for earthly food to feed our bodies. Jesus upholds His House by His Truth.

            Jesus says every teacher of the Law who becomes His disciple should bring treasures out of His storeroom both new and old – out of the Old and New Testaments. The Godhead used the “earthly” in the Older Testament to paint a picture of the New in Christ. We are to draw truths from the Older Testament as well as see their fulfillment in the teachings and acts of Jesus. Jesus brought the Older Testament scriptures into the New to show that He was fulfilling that scripture in their seeing and in their hearing.

There is a distinction between the Old and the New. But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been established on better promises. For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one.” Hebrews 8:6-7 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

            It is the fullness of Truth in Jesus and the New Testament that helps us understand the Older Testament. Jesus fulfilled and explained the Older Testament, so His disciples understood. We must appreciate the treasure of the Word of God that He has given us. The Older Testament points us to Christ. Knowledge and understanding of the Word is the purpose and duty of the Body of Christ. Those who follow Christ’s teachings are taught about the kingdom of heaven and do it. They are knowledgeable and full of wisdom. They will instruct others in both the Older and New Testaments. Peter did this in His first sermon in Acts 2:14-16. Paul also did this. It is thought that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews which contrasts the Old with the New.

           Proverbs 24:3-4: By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

           Proverbs 3:13-15: How blessed is the person who finds wisdom and the person who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.

        The promises made to the patriarchs were not made through Law, but through faith. Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law opened the door for the Gentiles to be included in the promise God gave to Abraham that through Abraham’s natural see a spiritual Seed Jesus would come to conquer the land of earth and multiply like the stars of heaven.

        The dragnet is used in the last chapter of John. Some of Jesus’ disciples are fishing with a dragnet when Jesus in His resurrected body appeared on the shore.  While He was on earth in His flesh body, He taught the parable of the dragnet to His disciples. He returns to them in His resurrected body to find them fishing with a dragnet. He will use this fishing trip to further teach them about His Kingdom. Jesus had told them earlier that they would be “fishers of men.”

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