Jesus’ Life and Ministry
Four Disciples Are Called
AFTER the murderous attempt on Jesus’ life in his hometown of Nazareth, he moves to the city of Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee. This fulfills another prophecy of Isaiah. It is the one that foretold that people of Galilee dwelling by the sea would see a great light.
As Jesus carries on his light-bearing work of Kingdom preaching here, he locates four of his disciples. These had traveled with him earlier but went back to their fishing business when they returned with Jesus from Judea. Likely, Jesus now searches them out, since it is time to have steady, regular helpers whom he can train to carry on the ministry after he is gone.
So as Jesus is walking along the seashore and sees Simon Peter and his companions washing their nets, he goes over to them. He climbs into Peter’s boat and asks him to pull away from land. When they get out a little distance, Jesus sits down in the boat and begins teaching the crowds on the shore.
Afterward, Jesus says to Peter: “Pull out to where it is deep, and you men let down your nets for a catch.”
“Instructor,” Peter replies, “for a whole night we toiled and took nothing, but at your bidding I will lower the nets.”
When the nets are lowered, such a great multitude of fish are caught that the nets begin to rip. Urgently, the men motion to their partners in a boat nearby to come and help. Soon both boats are filled with so many fish that they begin to sink. Seeing this, Peter falls down before Jesus and says: “Depart from me, because I am a sinful man, Lord.”
“Stop being afraid,” Jesus answers. “From now on you will be catching men alive.”
Jesus also invites Peter’s brother Andrew. “Come after me,” he urges them, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Their fishing partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee, are given the same invitation, and they, too, respond without hesitation. So these four abandon their fishing business and become the first four of Jesus’ steady, regular followers. Luke 5:1-11; Matthew 4:13-22; Mark 1:16-20; Isaiah 9:1, 2.
◆ Why does Jesus call his disciples to follow him, and who are these?
◆ What miracle frightens Peter?
◆ What type of fishing does Jesus invite his disciples to do?