Matthew 13:47

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Again the kingdom of heaven is said to be like a fishing net that is let down into the sea, gathering all kinds of fish. Once it is filled, the net is brought to shore. The good fish are gathered into baskets, but the bad ones are thrown away. Our holy church is compared to a net, because it has been entrusted to fishermen, and because all people are drawn up in it from the turbulent waters of the present age to the eternal kingdom, lest we drown in the depths of eternal death. This net gathers all kinds of fish because it calls to forgiveness of sins everyone, wise and foolish, free and slave, rich and poor, brave and weak. Hence, the psalmist says to God: “Unto you shall all flesh come.” This net will be completely filled when it enfolds the entire number of the human race at the end of time. The fishermen bring it in and sit down on the shore, because just as the sea signifies this present age, so the shore signifies its end.

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
The Lord rightly compared his preaching with a net. Coming into the world, without condemning the world he gathered those who were dwelling within it in the manner of a net. Tossed into the sea, that net is hauled up from the bottom. Encircling every creature in that element, it draws out all those things that it has netted. It lifts us out of the world and into the light of the true sun. With the choice of righteous honor and the rejection of evil, it brings to light the scrutiny of the judgment to come.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
After this, that we may not be confident in the gospel merely preached, nor think that faith only suffices us for salvation, He utters also another, an awful parable. Which then is this? That of the net. And wherein does this differ from the parable of the tares? For there too the one are saved, the other perish; but there, for choosing of wicked doctrines; and those before this again, for not giving heed to His sayings, but these for wickedness of life; who are the most wretched of all, having attained to His knowledge, and being caught, but not even so capable of being saved. Yet surely He says elsewhere, that the shepherd Himself separates them, but here He says the angels do this; Matthew 25:32 and so with respect to the tares. How then is it? At one time He discourses to them in a way more suited to their dullness, at another time in a higher strain.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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