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Matthew 13:47-53, Sorting the Fishies

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.
— Matthew 13:47-48

NL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, March 5, 2019

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


Since I grew up in Minnesota, I have lots of experience fishing. I know it’s a stereotype, but it’s really true—at least sometime in a person’s life in Minnesota you’ll end up out on the water. Even if you don’t go fishing yourself, you’ll see other people doing it.

I remember when I was little taking one trip to Kabetogama on the Canadian border; we were out fishing for walleye. It was there where I learned the difference between a walleye and a sauger; they look very similar and are in the same family, species-wise.

We’d keep whatever we caught, because our family loved to eat fish (still do). But the limits for those two species were different. So we could only keep a certain amount, then we’d have to throw others back.

I think with today’s reading the big question I have is whether or not I will be included in Jesus’ big “fish count.” What I need to remind myself is the context in which Jesus relayed this parable—Jesus needed to remind those who thought they were self-justified that they were not, that instead God is the one who is concerned with and ultimately is the judge of us.

It boils down to this: we’re the fish, not the fishermen. Just keep swimming and doing what you’re called to do and you’ll be in the net.

Thank you, God, for giving us stories such as this parable so that we may learn to follow you more closely. Amen.