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  • Pastor Bob Willard

How Jesus Taught Me Fishing

This this one is Matthew 13: 47-50. Jesus says once again—in a number of his parables he told us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like it's basically the descriptive stories that that give you an idea of what heaven is all about or getting to heaven—“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 they sat down and collected the good fish in basket but threw the bad away. This is how we’ll be in at the End of the Age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into a blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


Jesus really taught me how to fish. I like this one because I like to fish, but this is a different kind of fishing. Have you fished before? I go out with a pole on a line and a hook. that's that's one thing; you go out you catch one fish at a time and stuff but this was like commercial fishermen.I kind of think of that growing up in San Diego. If you went down to the harbor down near Seaport Village, there was always the the tuna boat Fleet, the whole Fleet of Big Tuna boats and in the right season they would go out off of San Diego there out to the kelp beds they'd drop down their big nets. Then, they they would just scoop up hundreds and hundreds of tuna and they would bring it back. There was a factory there too. Anybody ever get a can of tuna make tuna salad? That’s where it came from, simply caught right there. You remember the movie Forrest Gump? When he was fishing for shrimp and everything before before the the big storm and he would remember the net coming up and it would have a boot or a toilet seat or something and it just gives you the idea that that that kind of fishing catches everything.


Here are three thoughts on fishing

1. It’s a big net

It catches all kinds of fish, good, bad, big, or small. Our church has open doors and we accept all. We catch we catch all kinds of fish here. Recently our church had all kinds of fish come through here for our community talk and hopefully we can catch some of those and we want everyone to come to Christ. It's our job to provide that opportunity we're like the net catching all of them.


2. The fisherman knows

When the net was full, it was pulled up on shore. They pulled it up to a place where they could sit down and sort out these fish. And the fisherman knows the fish. He knows this is a bluegill. This is a perch. This is a salmon. I think about going down here to E. 55th Street and the 55th Pier down there catching fish right down there in Lake Erie. You're going to occasionally come up with what they call a Gobi. It's a little round-headed dumb looking fish. It's an invasive species; it's a bad fish. So if you're if you're down there

fishing at 55th and you get a goby on your line, you say, that thing looks weird. That’s not that's not a good fish. Regardless, the fisher knows his fish. You can't fool them. In some churches, there are people that that come day in and day out every Sunday and but they're not really. But you can't fool the fisherman. The fisherman knows; God knows. I think of the old cliche saying that “being a garage doesn’t make you a car.” Just because you come to church every Sunday, that doesn’t make you a Christian. and the fisherman knows. God knows. There's no slipping by just because you're in the net.


The fisherman is going to sit down and sort out the fish, the good

and the bad. They’re going to keep the yellow perch because they're great fried up. They’re going to throw out the Gobies. The net's big! It catches everyone but then the fisherman knows the fish.


3. The ultimate result is death.


It says there in the end of that that the angels will come and separate what the wicked from the righteous and throw them into a blazing furnace that will be where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sometimes when when people are fishing, especially sports fishermen, they catch they catch a bass when they throw out their that

rubber worm and because they're just doing it for the sport, they'll take it, unhook it and they'll catch and release. They’ll put it back there just because it's good for the environment and it's good for the sport but that's not what the parable said.


The fishermen separated them out and threw them away. They got rid of them. You don't have to throw them into a burning furnace. You leave them on on dry land and nature will take its course. In fact if you're down here at 55th and you do catch a goby, you don’t want to throw it back in the water. You want to toss it there on the rocks and let the seagulls come and and peck at it and eat it because it's an invasive species and that's kind of what this parable talks about. The fisherman is separating them out and throwing them out to die.


Bottom Line:


The parable is talking about an eternal death and it says the angels will will throw them

into a blazing furnace. It doesn’t say they get thrown back for a second chance. We’re not Buddhists; we don't come back to another life or whatever. They’re thrown out, thrown into the fire. I think about this, there’s the parable we all know the parables are stories that the basic basic common people can understand that that relate a spiritual idea.


So we have good fish and bad fish, representing righteous and wicked. I love the word righteous because it's one of those words the root word says what it means. The root word of of righteous or righteousness is right. It says what it means. You need to do what’s right. You need to do the right things, not the wrong things. You need to treat others right. I don't know how you treat your family? Maybe we need to do the right thing. You need to treat others right and most importantly you need to be right with

God through the Saving Grace and blood of Jesus Christ.

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