The theme to this parable will seem similar to the parable about the weeds. I think it is important to consider why Jesus told two different parables that have similar meanings. We should listen to everything God tells us, but when He repeats it, I think He is placing emphasis on a point that is important to hear. With that said, let’s pray that as we read this parable that God will give us a fresh insight and open our hearts to what He wants us to hear.
In this parable, we read about fishermen who throw down their nets and catch some fish. When they bring in the net, they separate the good fish and throw out the bad fish. Jesus tells us that is how it will be in the end times. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous. Something that came to mind is the fact that the fish do not separate themselves. In all honesty, the fish really don’t know what the fishermen consider good and bad; only the fishermen know what they are looking for. I think we need to remember that when we feel judgmental towards people, we really are not the judges; only God can judge the heart and He is the only one who knows what He is looking for. I think as we are growing in our walk with God, we need to focus on what God is changing in our own lives and let God work in someone else’s life. Only He knows what needs to be changed or where another person’s heart is. A good reminder for us is the fact that God knows our hearts better than we know our own hearts.
Jesus gave us a description of some of the things He will be looking for when He will be separating us. Please look up Matthew 25:31-46. This section of scripture is very convicting, and I think Jesus is very clear how we are to be showing His love to others. He wants us to be a reflection of who He is; and when you read about His life here on earth you can see that He loved everyone. I think the important point to pull out of this is that only God can judge our hearts and our focus should be obedience to His call and show His love to those around us. We do not need to add the position of judge to our spiritual resume; especially when we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Oh boy, I am certainly convicted! It is so easy to point our fingers at someone else, isn’t it?
Are you focusing on your relationship with God rather than judging someone else’s walk?