It is often said that “you never know what a day will bring.” That is certainly the case of this memorable and life-changing encounter between Jesus and two pairs of brothers, Simon (Peter) and Andrew, and James and John. Simon and Andrew were hard at work as fishermen, casting their nets into the sea. Jesus approached them and called them to follow him and promises that he will make them “fishers of men.” It was a change of location, they could not have known where he would be leading them. It was a change of occupation, from fishing for fish, to fishing for people. The gospel writers make it clear: immediately they left their nets and followed him, as did James and John shortly afterwards.
This story challenges us to consider the call to discipleship ourselves. Have we heard the call of Jesus to be his followers? Have we responded to it? Are we still following and serving the Lord? Are we fishing for people? Where are the fish? We need to go to them, the boat has to enter the water to reach them, although the water should not enter the boat! Jesus calls us not just for us to be saved, but also for us to follow and serve him in the world.
Reading: Matthew 4:18-22
Questions to think about:
- Luke tells us this wasn’t the first time Peter had met Jesus (Luke 4:38-39; 5:1-11). How would that earlier encounter have influenced Peter’s decision?
- Jesus calls them to follow. What do you think he is asking of them?
- Jesus makes it clear he will change them (“send you out to fish” (NIV) / “make you fish” (NRSV)). How do you respond to that?
- Jesus gives them a new job – fishing for people. How much do you see this as your job?
- Why do you think they chose to be obedient to the call of Jesus?
- What will determine your choice?