|Matthew 13:47-50||Read Online|
When [the net] was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous…
I grew up in rural Louisiana. There wasn’t much for little boys to do besides hunt and fish. Therefore, when we were young, my dad took my brothers and me fishing for bass a lot. We loved to catch them! They fought hard, looked good, and tasted great.
Every now and then, we’d catch a Jackfish, an ugly prehistoric looking thing with big teeth and a long skinny body full of bones that kept them from being good to eat. Dad had a unique way of throwing these fish back. He’d throw the fish up in the air then hit it with the boat paddle to kill it so that there would be less of them in the future.
We don’t like to think about the judgment much—especially that some will be denied access into the kingdom of heaven. In today’s scripture, Jesus makes it clear there will be a judgment. And just a like a good fisherman has to separate the good fish from the bad, the angels will separate the wicked from the righteous.
We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways. While we’d keep the good-looking and good-tasting fish, Jesus picks the fish that are righteous because of Him. The truth of the matter is we’re all Jackfish and deserve to die—outside of Christ (see Romans 3:23 and 6:23).
We come to Jesus as ugly, bony, and tasteless Jackfish and He makes us into a new creation, righteous before God. When the angels separate the righteous from the unrighteous, it won’t be the ones who thought they were righteous. It will be the ones who recognized they were sinful, recognized their need for Christ, and turned to Him.
In the words of Si from Duck Dynasty, “What kind of fish are you, Jack?”
- When you look at yourself, who do you see? Someone who has it all together? Someone other people are trying to catch? Someone who recognizes they’re worthless outside of Christ?
- Do you recognize that Jesus is the author (initiator) and perfector (completer) of your faith? Do you recognize that, outside of Him, you have no chance of being in heaven?
- Do you have a concern for the lost because you realize that one day there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth due to the pain people will feel once they’re fully separated from God’s grace?
- Thank Him for His love and grace to you today. Because left to your own worth, you’d be no more than a Jackfish.