As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
4:18 two brothers Capernaum was small, and Jesus had been preaching the coming of the kingdom of heaven (compare v. 17). The two brothers, Peter and Andrew, had probably already heard of Jesus. casting a net A small, circular net that a single person could handle. Fishermen in the ancient Near East had various nets—including the seine and the dragnet—and would alternate depending on the intended catch.
4:19 I will make you fishers of men Probably describes a change of vocation. Whereas they used to draw fish from the sea, they will now draw people into God’s kingdom.
4:21 two other brothers James and John were associated with Andrew and Simon Peter. They were likely also familiar with Jesus. See note on Matt 4:18. mending their nets Ancient fishing nets were made of organic fibers and would degrade rapidly. In order to preserve them, fishermen would let the nets dry when not using them. They often required mending.
4:22 left their boat and their father James and John probably also expect to return to their trade. Hearing Jesus and watching His signs will be the true cause of their becoming lifelong disciples.
These four disciples had already met our Lord and their brief meeting with him seems to have had a powerful effect on their souls. In this way, Christ prepared their vocation, a fully effective vocation which moved them to leave everything behind so as to follow him and be their disciples. Standing out above their human defects (which the Gospels never conceal), we can see the exemplary generosity and promptness of the apostles in answering God’s call.
The thoughtful reader cannot fail to be struck by the delightful simplicity with which the evangelists describe the calling of these men in the midst of their daily work. God draws us from the shadows of our ignorance, our groping through history, and, no matter what our occupation in the world, he calls us in a loud voice, as he once called Peter and Andrew.
This divine and human dialogue completely changed the lives of John and Andrew, and Peter and James and so many others. It prepared their hearts to listen to the authoritative teaching which Jesus gave them beside the Sea of Galilee.
We should notice the words Sacred Scripture uses to describe the eagerness with which these apostles follow our Lord. Peter and Andrew “immediately” left their nets and followed him. Similarly, James and John “immediately” left their boats and their father and followed him. God passes by and calls us. If we do not answer him “immediately”, he may continue on his way and we could lose sight of him. When God passes us by, he may do so rapidly; it would be sad if we were to fall behind because we wanted to follow him while still carrying many things that are only a dead weight and a nuisance.
– St Josemaría Escrivá
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.