Fishers of Men

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Reading the Bible

Matthew 4:12–22 (ESV)

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And 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, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Parallel Texts: Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11; John 1:35-51

Understanding and Applying the Word

After his baptism and temptation, Jesus begin his ministry to the world. As he begin to preach, he calls on fishermen to leave their nets behind and follow him. Jesus’ words to these men were “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” We are told that they immediately left fishing to follow Jesus.

Imagine being called to leave your job and security behind to follow Jesus. The first disciples did just that. They left fishing, which was their livelihood, to follow a man they knew little about, but they were trusting he was someone special. Of course, they would soon realize that he was the long-awaited Messiah and the Son of God (Matthew 16:15-16). And these disciples were going to spend the rest of their days telling the world about Jesus, the One who died and rose again to give life to all who would believe. It is the same message and the same task that all believers have been given. Jesus truly is someone very special!

**Read through the Life of Christ in 2019 by following along with Shaped by the Word. Just subscribe to this page and be sure to read along every day!

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