Wednesday, April 14, 2010
THE PARABLE OF THE NET
Brian walks past noisy classrooms on the way to meet the strong-headed principle of the school, Mr. Randy Houseman. He enjoys his success as the senior editor at Eduzine, a magazine which promotes all things education. Sometimes he does look back and being grateful to LifeZone College, giving him a chance when he himself detest further studies.
As Brian is walking towards the door of Mr. Houseman’s room, he can hear the clicking of cameras and sounds of those familiar flashes. He is not surprised at Randy’s inclusiveness of having every reporter that comes a calling to interview him. He pulls a chair at the back and sits uncomfortably down. A casual count by Brian, he sees at least twenty reporters, including one strong critique, everyone prepares for the all revealing story from this successful man.
“Mr. Houseman, why are you opposing LifeZone to continue being an elite college?” a lady reporter throws the first question.
“I believe in education for all! I believe in giving every young life a chance, telling them that they can make it too,” Randy shoots back convincingly.
“Tell us how you faced up to the board of directors who insisted to keep the college away from some undeserving students?” a man right next to Brian asks quickly.
“I have to do a lot of convincing and gathering supporters to fight along. All in all, it was perseverance that pulled me through.”
“Judging by the success of this College, about 80% students pass with distinction every year and with the percentage climbing, do you think you should stop taking in everyone and to keep it being successful?” the same man asks again.
“You have researched well, my friend. Why stop? Truth be told, my job here is not about my pride and success but the success of every one of those students who steps into this College.”
Houseman’s nemesis reporter stands up and asks in a booming voice, “Do you feel failure is coming your way as you continue to take in all kinds of students?” Brian can see some shaking their heads.
“I am not afraid of failure. I am more afraid to cut off the young ones before their time,” Randy answers confidently to the cheers from the floor.
“Which part do you think play the most pivotal role in LifeZone’s success?” another man quickly stands up and asks.
“The conviction of all the teachers here that all students can excel and they can make it.”
“Do you think you have any ‘bad’ teacher here in this college?” Brian shouts from the back.
Everyone, including Randy Houseman laughs. “Bad ones have gone elsewhere. To some elite schools, perhaps,” Randy gestures and laughs again.
“Brian, do you think we have bad teachers here?” the elderly man asks playfully.
“I don’t think so. If you have any, you would have sacked them,” Brian answers in jest.
“No. I won’t sack them! I would give them a chance like I have given all the students. No discrimination.” Randy speaks clearly.
The successful young man at Eduzine stands up and continues, “I wish to thank Mr. Houseman for his vision and how he has inspired me personally and has continued to inspire.”
Everyone listens intently to the bright young man. “I thank him for giving every student a chance here in this college,” he adds.
“I detested higher learning and I thought I could make do without college and I was wrong. It was Mr. Houseman who always challenged me with encouraging words that helped me to where I am today. In other words, he believed in me!”
“Thanks Dad!” Brian Houseman quips.
The parable of the Net is only found in Matthew 13:47-50. As Matthew 13 forms one succession of few parables spoken by Jesus, this one is linked with the last two parables. This one too is being spoken to the disciples only.
Human beings are so precious to God that His Hand of grace works like an extending vast net, thrown out from the heaven of love to the world. The disciples must have understood this parable perfectly as they are fishermen themselves. Jesus had earlier designated them as fishers of men (Matt. 4:19). As they followed Jesus everywhere, they would have seen through Jesus’ eyes, His undying love for mankind.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" (Mat 9:35-38).
The word ‘Net’ that Jesus used here refers to the large seine net, thrown out into the water, to be left there for a certain amount of time. The top is held by a strong material and the bottom is left hung to the sea floor. It is designed to drag the bottom when the fishermen pull it to shore. Nothing in the sea within the net’s range could escape.
No one will escape God’s grace before the time of the end and no one will escape God’s judgment at the time of the end.
The sons and daughters of God’s kingdom knowing full well that impending judgment should roll up their sleeves, ready for the Harvest! We are NOT the ones to sort out fishes at the beach. It is the job of God’s angels! We are not the sorters of men but fishers of men!
In wrapping up all the parables in Matthew 13, Jesus said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Mat 13:52).
Let us use whatever we have learn, experienced in the past and whatever we are learning today to be the powerful influence to the world.
Remember, God’s heart is all for good fish! And He wishes when the Net is lifted up, there will only be few bad fish.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).
Next: Parable of the Lost Sheep