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Jesus Calls the First Disciples

 5

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.


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Lu 5:1-11. Miraculous Draught of FishesCall of Peter, James, and John.

Not their first call, however, recorded in Joh 1:35-42; nor their second, recorded in Mt 4:18-22; but their third and last before their appointment to the apostleship. That these calls were all distinct and progressive, seems quite plain. (Similar stages are observable in other eminent servants of Christ.)

3. taught … out of the ship—(See on Mt 13:2).

4. for a draught—munificent recompense for the use of his boat.

5. Master—betokening not surely a first acquaintance, but a relationship already formed.

all night—the usual time of fishing then (Joh 21:3), and even now Peter, as a fisherman, knew how hopeless it was to "let down his net" again, save as a mere act of faith, "at His word" of command, which carried in it, as it ever does, assurance of success. (This shows he must have been already and for some time a follower of Christ.)

6. net brake—rather "was breaking," or "beginning to break," as in Lu 5:7, "beginning to sink."

8. Depart, &c.—Did Peter then wish Christ to leave him? Verily no. His all was wrapt up in Him (Joh 6:68). "It was rather, Woe is me, Lord! How shall I abide this blaze of glory? A sinner such as I am is not fit company for Thee." (Compare Isa 6:5.)

10. Simon, fear not—This shows how the Lord read Peter's speech. The more highly they deemed Him, ever the more grateful it was to the Redeemer's spirit. Never did they pain Him by manifesting too lofty conceptions of Him.

from henceforth—marking a new stage of their connection with Christ. The last was simply, "I will make you fishers."

fishers of men—"What wilt thou think, Simon, overwhelmed by this draught of fishes, when I shall bring to thy net what will beggar all this glory?" (See on Mt 4:18.)

11. forsook all—They did this before (Mt 4:20); now they do it again; and yet after the Crucifixion they are at their boats once more (Joh 21:3). In such a business this is easily conceivable. After pentecost, however, they appear to have finally abandoned their secular calling.




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