Read Matthew 13
Sometimes, the parable is just straight forward. It’s good and bad getting their just rewards. Not everyone was a farmer. Not everyone was tied to agriculture.
Among his disciples were several fishermen, so why not explain the end of the age with a fishing parable.
Back in the day, I spent a lot of time in OTASCO. If you don’t know, OTASCO stood for Oklahoma Tire and Supply Company. They, of course had tires, but they had the best selection of fishing gear around.
Back before anyone had even dreamed of Bass Pro Shop, there was OTASCO and if I had any money, I was checking out the fishing gear. Fishing has changed a lot over the past 2000 years. Most of the fishing done back then was done by nets. Today, net fishing is mostly done by the big commercial guys.
Back then, dad and a couple sons could make up a fishing company. Many of his disciples understood fishing. Many people understood fishing, so Jesus gave them a straight-forward parable about the end of the age.
You know how when you get a catch and you haul it in, you are not keeping all of the fish. If you are sorting it ashore, some fish are people food and some are cat food. You are not keeping that carp or any of its relatives.
If you keep a carp, do you know how to cook it?
First you take a wooden shingle—not a very thick one—and you douse it in Worchester Sauce. If you don’t have Worchester Sauce, Soy Sauce will do in a pinch. Next, sprinkle Seasoning Salt on the shingle. Don’t do anything to the fish yet.
Start a fire or fire up your gas or charcoal grill. Crank it up high.
Put the carp on the shingle and cover with Kosher Salt—the big grainy stuff. Put it all on the fire or the grill. Watch the flames engulf both shingle and fish. Hear the fire crackle. Add a tablespoon of Tabasco Sauce just as the fire is peaking.
Let everything cook for one minute after adding the Tabasco Sauce then remove from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes. With grill tongs, remove the fish from the shingle.
Throw the carp away and eat the shingle. Some fish were just not meant to be eaten by humans.
The disciples who were fishermen knew to throw away some fish. They were not keepers.
Jesus said that’s how it will be at the end of the age, without the Worchester Sauce. Some will not be keepers.
There is a judgment. There is a sorting. Some are going to eternal life and others to eternal torment or destruction, that’s a topic for another day.
There’s your hellfire and damnation sermon without the screaming and yelling.
Jesus will claim his own. The life eternal that we desire so much, will continue into the age to come and it will be a time without sin and evil competing for our attention.
There will be a sorting. It’s worth remaining strong to the end. Don’t be a carp.