What Jesus Did! 'The Ultimate Net' — Matthew 13:47-50

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was put into the lake. The net caught many different kinds of fish. The net became full, so the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. The fishermen sat down and put all the good fish in baskets. Then they threw away the bad fish. It will be the same at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the good people. The angels will throw the evil people into the place of fire. In that place the people will cry and grind their teeth {with pain}."
— Matthew 13:47-50 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 13:47-50 NLT — "Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was put into the lake."

Key Thought

"I can't stand church; those people are nothing but hypocrites!" Yes, it's true. The Church is full of folks who neither walk their talk nor put their life where their mouths are. Sometimes, this is because of weakness—we're struggling to overcome a sinful past full of addictive and sinful habits. Sometimes, this is because of ignorance—we haven't learned that what we're doing is sinful. Sometimes, it's because we are hypocrites. Sometimes, we just blow it! Sometimes, folks have never really surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and truly repented and turned their lives over to God. Rather than being discouraged by the weakness among God's people, we must respond in three clear ways. First, we must make sure our lives are on track and fully yielded to Jesus. We want to deal with our own shortcomings before tackling the shortcomings of someone else. Second, we must realize that there will always be pretenders in God's family who are not really what they are pretending to be and God knows their hearts and will judge them accordingly. Third, those who have drifted from the path Jesus is calling them to live need to be restored and we need to help do the restoring! Rather than blame or be ashamed of those among us who are not walking the talk, let's help them learn the joy of living fully for Christ!

Today's Prayer

Father, I confess that I sometimes get discouraged because some who claim to be your children don't live by your values or bring you glory. Instead of the cynicism Satan tries to put into my heart, please stir in me a passion to share the joy of your grace and Lordship so your Church shines brightly with your presence and holiness in the world. Give me a heart to restore, reclaim, and redeem rather than criticize. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 6:1-2
  • Jude 1:20-23
  • Matthew 25:31-33


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.