When the sun comes up each day we are relatively sure it will go down again in the world that saw it rise.
That would be the normal expectation of a normal day. If that sunrise was the start of a day when Jesus walked by, the world could change before sundown. So it was for two sets of brothers in the fishing business in the region of Galilee. Andrew and Peter were one set; James and John were their partners.

Business was good.
The water was clean and the fish were plentiful. Sometimes they were not easy to find, but they were there for the eventual finding and taking. The four fishermen were impressed with Jesus. Perhaps they had witnessed the deliverance of the demon-possessed man in the synagogue. Simon Peter’s wife’s mother had been healed of a high fever at His command. They had witnessed the healing service late in the day. On this day Jesus would ask for their help teaching His authoritative message. Who knew what miracles the rising sun might witness on such a day?

The four partners had fished through the night, never locating the fish they sought and were cleaning their nets before finally getting some rest. Their two boats were safely ashore as a growing crowd followed Jesus to the water’s edge.

Simon Peter’s Boat
Jesus knew that He could use one of the boats as a sort of speaking platform. The water around the boat would reflect and amplify His voice. He asked Simon Peter if he could cast out a little way from the shore. The fisherman was glad to help and felt honored that his boat was to be of use to this man who had healed his wife’s mother.

Just offshore, Jesus continued His teaching sitting in the boat. At first, the other three fishermen tried to continue working on their nets while Jesus spoke but this proved impossible. The authority of Jesus’ teaching, the depth of His insight, and the practicality of His instruction commanded their complete attention. The nets were forgotten.

“Launch out into the deep.”
When Jesus finished teaching, He asked Simon Peter and his partners to go out into the deep waters and use those nets, repaired or not. Simon protested that they had worked at it all night and there were no fish to be found in that area. As he spoke, Peter must have realized that with Jesus around things could change for the better in a hurry for he quickly agreed to give it a try.

Like they had done so many times before, the partners prepared their equipment and set out for deep waters. When Peter put down his net, a multitude of fish rushed to be captured! The hastily prepared net began to break and the boat was filled to overflowing with fish! Simon and Andrew called for their partners in the other boat. Soon both boats were filled and safely delivered back to port.

Simon fell to his knees confessing his sinfulness. We can be sure the other three did as well. Jesus seized the moment.

“Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”

It was more than a miraculous catch; it was a calling. That day on the Sea of Galilee, the sun did not set on the same world upon which it rose that morning. Two sets of brothers forsook all to answer the call of Jesus.

Luke: 5:1-11

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Lord Jesus, long ago I sensed Your call and I decided to follow You. Though I have sometimes failed to follow You, You have never failed to bring me back. Give me the proper spiritual vision to see what is really important. It isn’t the “business” life put me in—it is the ministry You have called me to. You will use my stuff, just as You used Peter’s boat and nets, but You are the One who does the work,  the One who has the reward. “The world behind me, the Cross before me!” Thank You, Jesus!

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus


1. I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
no turning back, no turning back.

2. Though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
no turning back, no turning back.

3. The world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
no turning back, no turning back.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

TheJesusStory devotions are also found at

2 thoughts on “June 13 “Fishermen”

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