Parable of the Fishing Net


Parable of the Fishing Net: Matthew 13:47-50


The parable of the fishing net is the third parable of a series of three short ones that are used by Jesus to describe the kingdom of heaven.

The other two short parables are:

Parable of the Hidden Treasure


Parable of the Pearl of Great Value


Context of the Parable


In context, previous to these three short parables, Jesus has just told the Parable of the Weeds which mirrors the message of this parable of the fishing net.


Parable of the Fishing Net


Jesus says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:47-50)

In this parable, the point is that the righteous are kept whereas evildoers are separated and thrown out. The purpose is to communicate the idea of separating the good from evil at the end on judgment day.

Beyond this point, there is no use in extrapolating the meaning. Of course, in real life, the fish that are kept would be eaten, but Jesus is not saying this about the righteous. He is only saying that they will be kept for heaven, whereas those who are evil will be thrown "into the furnace of fire."


Meaning of the Parable of the Fishing Net


The meaning of the parable is found in the last two verses, starting with "So it will be at the end of the age..." (Matthew 13:49-50) We are told that God's angels will separate the evil from the righteous and throw the bad into the fire for destruction.

This parable of the fishing net is a vivid description of the future judgment day, but it also serves as a warning for us to repent now while there is still opportunity. As the author of Hebrews says, "Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it." (Hebrews 4:1)


For a 40 day devotional of an in-depth study of all Jesus' parables, view the convenient eBook Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ.

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Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ takes the approach of understanding Jesus' parables by examining the genre, scriptural context, and historical culture.

The goal of this approach is to "reveal" theology from the Bible, as opposed to trying to find verses to support a belief. This is the difference between letting the Bible tell us what is true, versus us trying to find evidence for what we want to believe. When we allow the Bible to teach us what to believe, we can better set aside our own biases and become more receptive to God's truths.

This book lists all the parables of Jesus Christ, including supplemental information necessary for understanding them. Each parable has a summary of what is being said, along with the meaning Jesus Christ is teaching.

Some of the questions that this book will answer include: 

  • Why does Jesus speak in parables?
  • What is the meaning of the "talents" in the talents/pounds parable?
  • What is the real focus of the prodigal son?
  • What did Jesus mean by treasures new and old?
  • Who is the man without a wedding robe in the wedding banquet parable?
  • Why is the dishonest manager praised for his shrewdness?
  • What does Jesus really mean by counting the costs?

The answers to these questions, and more, are answered by carefully examining the contextual and historical evidence. Also included is a chapter revealing scriptural evidence that proves that Jesus Christ is God, as well as important supplementary material for understanding these parables.

Kindle | Kobo | Nook

PDF/Paypal PDF works for all eReaders, including iBooks. (No Paypal account needed, simply select the "Pay with a debit or credit card" option.)

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Go to previous parable: Valuable Pearl

Go to next parable: Master of a Household



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Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ

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Kindle | Kobo | Nook 

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