Lent 2023 Day 1: Wed 22 Feb
From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Early on in his ministry Jesus chooses Peter to be a disciple and a close companion. It wasn’t as if Jesus had not walked along the Galilean shore before. When you choose people to follow you whom you will be teaching over a number of years you do not just pick them out of thin air.
Jesus would have wandered along the shore and got to know the fishermen – “Caught anything?” That question would come up more than once for Peter. Peter was going about his work, his business, his means of survival. He was a fisherman. He’d invested his skills and his future in fish. His hands were rough and hardened, his feet toughened by sand, stones and rocks. When he turned up back at home you wouldn’t have to look up to see who’d just walked in – you’d smell him.
Peter was fixed on fishing. One day he would be too old or perhaps he might be injured, and his children or wider family would take over the hard work. Perhaps Zebedee himself, father of James and John was now restricted to net-maintenance duties.
Jesus had other plans for Peter and the others. They were to come with him for the experience of a lifetime, and eternity. Jesus calls Peter, and Peter follows him.
Might any potential disciples have declined Jesus’ offer?
How much do you think Peter already knew about Jesus?
What skills could Peter bring to fishing for people?
What skills could you bring?
Father God, this story is presented as though Jesus just came along and picked Peter. You never called me without knowing how you have prepared me and will use me in your service. Refresh your call on my life, I pray. Amen.