Four Fishermen Called as Disciples

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. ~ Matthew 4:18-22.

Jesus calls two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew to follow Him and ‘fish for men’. They immediately leave their nets and follow Him. Further along, He sees two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, sitting in their boat with their father, mending their nets. He call them. They leave the boat, their father and their work and, like the other two, immediately answer Christ’s call.

“the Sea of Galilee” (v.18) – is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately 53 km (33 mi) in circumference, about 21 km (13 mi) long, and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. The lake has a total area of 166.7 km2 (64.4 sq mi) at its fullest, and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m (141 feet). At levels between 215 metres (705 ft) and 209 metres (686 ft) below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake overall (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake).[5] The lake is fed partly by underground springs although its main source is the Jordan River which flows through it from north to south (source: Wikipedia)

It was known in the Bible by four different names — The Sea of Galilee, Lake or Sea of Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, and Lake Tiberias

“saw two brothers,” — It is uncertain if this was the first time that these men had met and heard Jesus. Apparently their immediate response reflected an earlier meeting, possibly recorded in John 1:45-51. It must be remembered that John records an earlier Galilean and Judean ministry.

“net” — This refers to a hand-cast, round net, but the word “net” in Matthew 4:20 and 21 is a different word and refers to larger nets pulled by boats.

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (v.19) — In its Jewish setting, Jesus was officially calling these men to become His disciples. There were set rules and procedures on how a rabbi did this. The terminology is a word play on their current profession of fishing and their new one as witnesses and evangelists.

“immediately” (vv.20, 22) – They would have encountered Jesus previously and known who He was. They believed Him to be the Messiah (see John 1:35-42). James and John also heard Jesus’ teaching and witnessed the miracle (Luke 5:1-10), plus they were partners with Andrew and Peter and would have heard their accounts of their experiences with Jesus, so it’s understandable that they too would immediately answer Jesus’ call.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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