The seventh parable is found in Matthew 13:47-48, and it involves a net cast into the sea, a gathering of every kind, (or one might say all), and workers who pull the net to shore to separate the catch into two groups, the good into containers, and the bad are cast away. In the parable of the pearl, we said that the sea represented all the peoples of the world (Revelation 17:15), with the exception of Israel, which was described as a treasure hidden in a piece of land (Joshua 1:2-6).
Fortunately for us, the Lord interprets the parable of the net in verses 49-50. The time this event takes place is at the end of the world. A better translation of the Greek aion, is "age." Remember, in my earlier interpretations of the parables, I said that the seven parables were descriptions of the Church Age. In other words, the kingdom of heaven in Matthew Thirteen describes the period between Christ's first coming, and His return. Matthew also used the Greek kosmos in 13:35-38 which is correctly translated "world."
Jesus identifies the workers as angels (see the parable of the wheat and the tares where He identifies those doing the sorting - Matthew 13:30, 39-42). After the separation of the good from the evil, the evil catch is cast into the furnace (hell). A much more detailed passage of this judgment is found in Matthew 25:31-46. This takes place at Christ's return, and involves judging the peoples of the world for how they treated Israel, especially during the Tribulation. Those who are considered good are allowed to enter the millennial kingdom of the Lord.
A summary of the seven parables of the Church Age in Matthew Thirteen is as follows:
1. Jesus spreading the Word in the hearts of men, which is the beginning of the Church.
2. Jesus and Satan sowing offspring in the visible church.
3. Jesus planted an herb which becomes a huge tree that provides for Satan's minions.
4. Jesus allows Satan's "kneading" of sin and hypocrisy into the church, thus corrupting it.
5. Jesus giving His life for His people, the Jews.
6. Jesus also giving His life for Gentiles who will place their trust in Him.
7. Jesus using angels to separate those who will enter His Millennial Kingdom from those who enter hell.
There is an eighth parable in Matthew Thirteen but it describes His disciples as stewards of His teaching. Stewards were given a dispensation of stewardship. I will speak of dispensations in tomorrow's blog.