Parables of Jesus
The kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which gathers all kinds of fish. When it is full, the fishermen pull it to the shore, sit up, collect the good fish in the baskets and throw away the bad ones. So it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the bad from the good and throw them into the fiery furnace, where it will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things? They replied: "Yes". And he said to them: "For this reason every scribe, having become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven, is like a landlord who extracts new things and ancient things from his treasure".
The reading of chapter 13 of Matthew presents us with both the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the pearl and now the parable of the fish-filled net. Jesus gives them to his disciples to make them understand the goal: the kingdom of heaven. Shortly before we read that Jesus leaves the crowd and enters the house, where his disciples approach him to ask him for an explanation of the parable of the tares; and then Matthew continues with the similarities of the kingdom of heaven, which is first assimilated with a treasure in the field, then to the precious pearl and finally to the net thrown into the sea.
It seems that these three parables are addressed in a particular way to his disciples, who had gathered around him, in the quiet and restraint of the house, to ask him for an explanation of what was said before by the sea, to them and to the great crowd that there had gathered; probably bequeaths them precisely because, after telling everyone about the parables of the sower, the mustard seed and the yeast, and explaining specifically to his disciples the one about the tares, they were able to understand for themselves that, in these last parables on the "kingdom of heaven", Jesus corresponded to the "hidden treasure" and to the "precious pearl".
Speaking to his disciples who had already left everything to follow him, Jesus confirms the goodness of their decisions and, at the same time, announces them to future generations. This net thrown into the sea offers the image of the fisherman who gathers fish: if Jesus is understood in the depth of his mystery, which is the truth of God, then this truth can only be the judgment on humanity. In summary, the image of the network represents judgment, in fact it contains all the fish, both the good and the bad; in this sense this image is similar to the ending of the parable of the tares (explained just before those same disciples of his), which is thrown into the fire, while the good grain is gathered in the barns. it is an announcement of what will happen, and everyone will have to face up to this truth: the salvation or condemnation will depend on the final judgment, in fact here we also mention the angels who "at the end of the world" will come to separate the bad from the good.
If your earthly existence was lived by following the teachings of Jesus and believing in His truth, then you are already certain that you are among those who will enjoy being able to stay forever with God. If instead you have chased your lusts, you will be among those who will come throw yourself into the fiery furnace. This is why Jesus asks "Have you understood all these things?" and the disciples promptly answer "Yes", because they had abandoned everything to follow Jesus, they could only be on the side of those who would be judged "good".
And then Jesus continues: "For this reason every scribe, having become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven, is like a landlord who extracts new things and ancient things from his treasure". The scribes and Pharisees of his time hindered the truths of God; however, if a scribe, by grace, inspiration or revelation, had recognized the Son of man, he would have become "like a landlord who extracts new things and ancient things from his treasure"; one returns to the previous image of one who finds the hidden treasure or the pearl of great value, and then goes and sells all his possessions: hence the scribe becomes like a master of the house who extracts from his treasure new things and old things , that is all he has, to buy that treasure.
The scribe here is the symbol of those who are engaged in deepening their knowledge of the Scriptures, that is, of the word of God; it is like Paul who grew up and educated in one of the most rigid schools of the Pharisees, imbued with the word of God, then - when he comes to know Jesus - he will say that he "loses all these things and I consider them garbage, in order to gain Christ" (Fil 3,8), and will affirm that salvation cannot come from the law. Therefore when the scribe meets the truth of the Word, he recognizes Jesus, because he has understood that He is the truth of God; and then he leaves his traditions, because he understands that the truth sought with the study and deepening of the Scriptures is only in Jesus. "Did you understand all these things?" or those narrated through the parable of the net, of the treasure in the field, of the pearl and of the tares? The disciples answer yes, because they were already predisposed to recognize in Jesus the fullness of God's truth.
This teaching becomes current for all Christians today, who have already taken the first step in recognizing Jesus: Himself, leaving us always free to choose our actions, but invites us, through the parables, to renounce the things of the world for He, to follow His teachings, because only in this way we will eventually fall into the net between the group of "good fish" and we will have no doubt of being selected to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven.