Well, it’s been a while since I did a parable blog post. In The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price, I talked about how we as Christians should be obtaining the true treasure of the Kingdom of God; which is having an eternal life with Christ and being renewed by Him every day when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior over our lives. In this parable, I just want us to think of ourselves as the dragnet or net that comes to catch fish of every kind and draw them into a relationship with Christ.
If you want to read the other parable blog posts, you can check here.
What does it mean to be the Dragnet in the Kingdom of Heaven?
Well, what is a dragnet? A dragnet is a net designed to encircle a large area and gather fish near the bottom of a lake. So, if a dragnet is designed to catch fish, then what does that make us as disciples of Christ? In my opinion, I think this means that as disciples of Christ, we are tasked with gathering the “fish” or people of every kind and make disciples of every nation; just as Jesus commanded we do before He ascended into Heaven.
However, as the “dragnet” that will be used to bring people to Christ, we as Christians and as people should also remember that we are still human. In Matthew 13:47-48, Jesus gives us a depiction of not only what happens to disciples of Christ but also to those that reject Him and turn away from His gift of eternal life.
“47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48. which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.”
These verses should show us as Christians and as people what we were meant to do regarding bringing people to Christ. We were meant to bring them to Christ, but, we weren’t assigned to judge people as only God can do this. This reminded me of when Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to become His disciples and become “fishers of men” in Mark 1:16-18.
Becoming the fishers of men in the kingdom of God is something that all Christians should strive to become; because it shows that we are willing to lay down our material possessions and follow after Christ.
“Following Christ is about becoming fishers of men”
In Mark 1:16-18, it says, “16. And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fisherman. 17. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men’ 18. They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”
I like this verse because it shows that Christ was looking for hardworking people who to become His disciples, and even today, He is still looking for people who are willing to aside their doubts and become His “fisherman”. In the Bible miniseries, there is a part of the story that focuses on Jesus calling Peter to become His disciple and I like this story because for me; it shows Peter’s faith in Christ even when it seemed that the day wasn’t going the way he wanted it to.
I like this video because, in it, Peter doesn’t want to go out again but it’s his trust in God that makes him go back out into the sea and catch a large number of fish. This is just what the Apostle Luke wrote in Luke 5:5-6 saying, “5. But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing, nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.’ 6. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”
This verse in Luke to me symbolizes a lot of what we as Christians face as we are called to make disciples of all nations and even in our own communities. Peter’s hesitation to go back out into the water despite catching nothing says to me that Peter’s hesitation is not too dissimilar from our own. We oftentimes lose faith and hope when life or what we were chasing after doesn’t bear fruit.
But, it’s when we put aside our doubts and fears of what we didn’t have in the beginning and like Peter say, “…nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net”; that I feel is when Jesus allows the miracle to happen. Because as we see in verse 5, that Peter was all ready to give up and wait until the next day to catch fish, but Jesus said something different and it changed his life forever.
When we as Christians begin to doubt that we will be able to make disciples of every nation; all we really can do is fall to our knees and pray to the One who has all the answers. All we have to do is ask Him.
As I continued in my church’s bible challenge, I learned a lot about the parables through the continuous reading of His Word. What I learned from this particular parable was that just as the dragnet was designed to encircle a large area and catch fish, we too as disciples and children of God were called to go out into the world and “catch” people of all nations and make disciples.
However, just because we as Christians and as people were called to be disciples, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be opposition from those who reject God and those who were placed there by Satan to throw us off course and keep us from God’s plan of redemption.
As with the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, the enemy will come when we least expect him and place people in our lives that are there to deter us from God’s plan for our lives. Just as the tares, which were put into the field to destroy the wheat; the enemy will also place obstacles and trials in front of us to hinder us and block us from delivering the message of Christ’s love for us to the world.
“We were designed by God to “catch” people of all nations and make disciples”.
Also, remember when I said that as Christians and as people, we weren’t assigned to people so that we could judge them; well Jesus spoke on judging others in the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew 7:1-2, the Apostle Matthew is talking about how Jesus describes not just judging others but how our Heavenly Father will judge us at the End of Days.
Matthew 7:1-2 says, “1. Judge not, that you be not judged. 2. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” However, while we are on Earth, our tasks as Christians is to go out into the world and make disciples of every nation; not to judge others.
However, in the end, though, when God calls us home; His angels will sift through those that are disciples of Christ and have accepted Christ’s invitation of eternal life when they accepted Him as the Lord and Savior over their lives and those who have repeatedly rejected His invitation and continuously wallow in sin. In the parable of the dragnet, Jesus talks about this in Matthew 13:49-50 saying, “49. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50. and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
In the end, though, throughout the reading of the parable of the dragnet, the main theme that I picked up was discipleship and how we are called to make disciples of all nations while at the same time making sure that we as Christians don’t judge others. As with the parable of the tares, the enemy and those who choose to reject Christ will likewise be cast from those who chose to accept Jesus and be cast into the lake of fire.
“If we hold onto our faith in Christ, despite the circumstances looking like they are against us; God will reward our faith.”
In the parable, some of the lessons I learned included:
- We are called to make disciples of all nations
- We as Christians weren’t assigned to judge others when we go and make disciples.
- Even when it seems that we can’t make disciples, don’t give up; go back out to sea and cast your net.
So, what will you do. As Christians and people, we shouldn’t let our past problems dictate the end result. Go back into the sea, trust the Father and cast your net.
Will you cast your net and trust God?
Will you decide to stay on the shore when it seems that life isn’t going the way you want it too?
Or, Will you be like Peter saying, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing, nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.”
PDF FILE: The Parable of the Dragnet
“Jesus and Peter (The Bible Series”. YouTube, uploaded by unknown, 4 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO7Ucv3CIWM . Accessed 18 Jan 2018.
Furniss, Tatum. “Matthew 13”, modified over 3 years ago, http://slideplayer.com/slide/2807439/ . Accessed 15 Jan 2018.
Kaer, Sydney. “Daily Verse: Mark 1:17”, 03 Jun 2017, http://www.spirit1053.com/syn/1047/39685/daily-verse-mark-117/ . Accessed 16 Jan 2018.
Kidwell, Eric. “Fishers of Men” 27 Aug 2012, flickr.com https://www.flickr.com/photos/ericekidwell/7838596402/ . Accessed 17 Jan 2018.
Thedokimos. “The parable of the dragnet”, 9 Jul 2016, thedokimos.org, https://thedokimos.org/2016/07/09/the-parable-of-the-dragnet/ . Accessed 15 Jan 2018.