The fishing net parable is no surprise to those of us who have accepted that at the end times there will be separation of those who follow Christ and those who don’t. Considering these parables as they are recorded, I doubt (once again) that it is by chance that they are in this sequence.
Here we come to the final result of our lives. We are held in Christ’s arms or we are separated for all time. That’s what hell is: eternal separation from God. We don’t have to imagine the distress the world feels now, when the Holy Spirit is here and influencing the world. But when there is no connection at all to God, I cannot fathom what hopelessness and desperation must abound. Yet, this is what will happen to some.
The net collects all the fish, good and bad. Again, like the weeds, good and bad coexist. The next parables of treasure and a pearl share riches of heaven with us, and we should share them in turn. In this last parable of chapter 13, we find what happens to those who have not accepted the shared kingdom.
The good and bad do not have any final words to say; they are fish. They are simply sorted by the angels who know them well. Each fish has individually made the choice and now has the consequence. Dwelling together in this life is the only time we have to share and receive the kingdom. Do you sense the urgency?
As I pondered the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl, I really felt like the treasure was so immense that it must be shared. Particularly in light of all the generosity of our Lord, how could we keep the gospel treasure to ourselves? This is all the more so considering the final consequences.
I pray often for those who do not know our Lord as their Lord and Savior. Today I pray more fervently as I am reminded of them and our final end.