Jesus spent a lot of time by the seashore. On multiple occasions, we find Him there. When He started looking for His disciples, that’s where He began.
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. Matthew 4:18-22
Fishermen were rugged, worked long hours, and were totally dependent on what the sea provided. They had to learn to read the currents, the weather, and the seasons. Perfect characteristics for what Jesus needed – thick-skinned and yet sensitive folks, able to feel out the situation, and spot willing hearts.
What did the disciples see when they first saw Jesus that made them drop what they were doing and follow Him immediately –no pause, no discussion, no second thoughts!
For Peter and Andrew, perhaps it was the intrigue of His call:
Can you image the looks on their faces? “… fish for people!” What could it mean? Is this guy for real? Regardless of what they thought, Jesus must have seemed confident, bold, and completely different. He was powerful and compelling. And so, they followed Him.
Then just a little further down the shoreline, Jesus finds James and John, and He calls them too! Their reaction is equally astonishing:
They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. Matthew 4:22
Not only did James and John walk away from their livelihood, but from their father as well –not an easy thing to do in the Jewish culture or perhaps any culture.
These four men, along with eight others, would give up much to follow Jesus, and Jesus would deliver what He promised. They would indeed be expert fishermen, fishing for people.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:18-19
Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. Acts 2:41
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. James 1:16
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. … 1 John 2:1
What would you do if Jesus called you to service today? What would you give up to follow Him? Get in the boat, let’s go fishing!!
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.