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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS CALLED FISHERS OF MEN

Matt 4:18-22 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him. (Also Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5-11)

From John 1:40-50 we find Andrew and an unnamed disciple (probably John, the son of Zebedee) that had become disciples of John the Baptist, introduced to Jesus, and immediately they began following Him. Andrew convinced his brother, Peter, to also become a disciple of Jesus. At the same time Jesus found Philip and asked him to become His disciple. Philip also found his brother, Nathanael, told him he had found the promised Savior, and he, too, began following Jesus. Bible chronologists seem to agree that this calling of certain disciples took place soon after Jesus began His earthly ministry after being baptized by John in the Jordan River. The calling of the twelve apostles took place one year later or possibly a little longer, and was recorded in Matthew 10:2-6; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16.

We must consider that the first calling took place near the Jordan River where both John the Baptist and Jesus were baptizing repentant Jews. The calling recorded in the lesson text took place in the province of Galilee, and by the Sea of Galilee, from which it got its name. With this in mind, we can assume that Jesus' calling of disciples to follow Him according to the lesson text, probably took place between the two "callings" noted in the opening remarks. The lesson text tells us that both Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen. They came from the city of Bethsaida (John 1:44), and Mark 1:29 tells us that they also had a home in Capernaum. Both of these cities are situated on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee andwas noted for muchcommercial fishing.

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. Old Testament references also refer to the Sea of Galilee as the Sea of Tiberias, Lake Gennesareth, and also the Sea of Chinnereth (See Num 34:11; Deut 3:17; Luke 5:1; Josh 12:3). As Jesus walked by this sea, He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting a net into the sea. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. It never ceases to amaze me, and most other bible students, that Jesus called these common fishermen to become His followers, His disciples, and later His apostles. Certainly there were better speakers, more highly educated Jews that had better knowledge of God's law and His prophecies regarding His promised kingdom. Yet it is more possible that Jesus passed over those pious Jewish students that had been misled by self-righteous priests and scribes that had corrupted God's will with their own "religious" interpretations of the law and the prophets. Instead, Jesus' followers were to have no preconceived ideas of God's will and were to be led by the Holy Spirit of God. Even today, we can look around us and see various "religious" sects and preachers that have confused and compromised God's divine will with their "human" learning.And most of these false teachers, even if shown their error,would be unwilling to concede their fault,and replace it with God's pure, unadulterated truths.

Having been called to become fishers of men for the cause of Christ, Simon Peter and Andrew straightway left their nets, and followed Him. To catch men and women with God's gospel message of salvation, and bring them to Christ, is the best vocation anyone on earth can undertake in life. Yet so often do we see self-serving preachers and teachers deceiving spiritually weak men and women with erring doctrines, that they may satisfy their own inordinate desires by becoming "fishers of personal wealth." In this same area of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, ...and He called them. And they ...and followed Him. No doubt this was a great sacrifice for these four fishermen. They not only left the profession, which served to supply themselves with those things that sustain life, but they left their own families, to serve Christ Jesus. Let us all recognize and submit our talents and abilities to a call much higher than serving ourselves,serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, andbecome fishers of men!