Title: Parable #8 & #9: The Parable of the Net & The Householder
Scriptures to Read: Matthew 13:47-50; 51-52
The parable of the net (Matt. 13:47-50)
The eighth parable is the parable of the net. We have a dragnet gathering fish from the sea. When the net is filled, the fish are separated into two groups, those that are kept in containers and those that are thrown away.
The reality and meaning
The sea is again prominent in this parable, and again it represents the Gentile world. So the net is gathering Gentiles. The reality pictured here is that the mystery kingdom age will end with a judgement of the Gentiles. The righteous Gentiles will enter into the messianic kingdom, and the unrighteous will be excluded from that kingdom and thrown into the lake of fire. What about the Jews? Why does this judgement only include the Gentiles? We know from other passages that by this time at the end of the age, the Jews have already been judged. Two thirds of them have perished, and without exception, every living Jew is a believer. The judgement depicted here is the same judgement of the Gentiles found in Joel 3:1-3 and in Matthew 25:31-46.
The Parable of the householder (Matt. 13:51-52)
The ninth parable is the parable of the householder. The head of a household brings out of his treasure both new things and old things. The elements of the figure are the head of the household, and his treasure.
The head of the household is a scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven. The treasure of the scribe is his knowledge of the Word of God. So the reality depicted by the parable is that the scribe in the kingdom will bring out of the Word of God things both new and old in relationship to the mystery kingdom.
And the point He makes is that some aspects of the mystery kingdom have similarities with the other facets of God’s kingdom program, and other aspects are completely new, never found before – hence the mystery.
Summary of the Parables
Here is a one-sentence summary of each of these nine parables to show the overview of the mystery kingdom age.
1. The sower:
There will be the sowing of the gospel seed throughout this age.
2. The seed growing of itself:
This seed which has been sown will have an inner energy so that it will spring to life and grow of its own accord.
3. The Tares:
The true sowing will be imitated by false counter-sowing.
And because of the false counter-sowing two things follow:
4. The Mustard Seed:
The Mystery Kingdom will assume huge outer proportions until it becomes a monstrosity harboring the agents of Satan.
5. The Leaven:
It will be marked by inward doctrinal corruption.
Nevertheless, because the seed is sown and grows of itself two other things follow:
6. The Treasure:
The Lord will gain a remnant from Israel.
7. The Pearl:
God will gain a people from among the Gentiles.
8. The Net:
The Mystery Kingdom age will end with the judgement of the Gentiles; the unrighteous will be excluded from the Messianic Kingdom, and the righteous will be taken in.
9. The Householder:
The Mystery Kingdom has both similarities and dissimilarities with the other facets of God’s Kingdom Program.