"And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed him.
When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the Son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him."(Mark 1:16-20)
Jesus could have chosen the wise scholars of the day to take His Gospel to the whole world, and teach the Faith to all nations. But instead He chose uneducated and common men. St Paul says, "For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty..."
(1 Corinthians 1:26-28) BUT HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE!!! St Luke records in the book of Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Have you been with Jesus? Oh, we believe in Him, at least we profess to know Him, but have we "been with Jesus"? The Apostles walked with Jesus, you say. They were taught directly by Jesus. That is true. And yet we see how they all ended up because of their hardness of heart(Mark 16:14). It was the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father(Luke 24:49), that empowered them, that transformed them and filled them with boldness(Acts 4:29-33), and brought to their remembrance all the things He had taught them(John 14:26; Luke 12:12; John16:12-16). This same Holy Spirit has been given to you, is available to you, is an ever-present anointing to teach you all things(1 John 2:20). Are we doing our part to be filled with the Spirit? Are we continuing in His Word day and night? Are we praying His Spirit-inspired Psalms morning, noon, and night? Oh, we too, are called to become fishers of men, but have we forsaken our nets to follow Him? Or are we entangled in the affairs of this life(2 Timothy 2:1-4)? Is the Word that is in us choked by "the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for things"(Mark 4:19)?
St Basil the Great is quoted, "Those who are strongly seized with the desire of following Christ can no longer be concerned with anything pertaining to this life, not even with the love of parents or other relatives insofar as this runs counter to the calling of the Lord." Also see Luke 9:57-62 and Luke 14:25-35.
Psalm 107:23,24, "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep." We can see the word-picture clearly, we are to launch out into the deep, out into the sea of the worlds' peoples(Revelation 18:1,15). For the sea is a picture of the peoples of the earth, we are the fishers of men, sent out into the great waters, fraught with all the dangers of such an expedition. But it is when we, with knowledge that Jesus is with us (asleep) in the boat, that we take courage and "go" into the deep. It is then that we we see "the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep". But if we stay on shore, never obeying the Master to go, never launching out into the deep, we will never see the Lord do His work in the lives of the people He has sent us to reach.
Luke 5:1-11(Please read in your Bible - KJV :)
Jesus said to Simon(Peter), "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught(the catch)...Fear not; from henceforth you will catch men."(Verses 4, 10) Notice how it is possible for us to toil "all night" and catch nothing. But, at His word, they caught a multitude of fishes. May we learn, how to fish, when to fish, where to fish? Let us ask of the Lord for this knowledge.
After Jesus's resurrection from the dead he appeared to his disciples numerous times during the 40 days preceding His holy ascension(Acts 1:3, 10, 11). We read in John 21:1-14 about the third appearance of Jesus to his holy Apostles. This time it was Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples to whom Jesus appeared. Peter says, "I go a fishing", and the other disciples said, "We go with thee". What do you say? "Let's go fishing", "fishing for men". Again, the disciples have caught no fish. But the Lord tells them where to cast the nets and they catch an amazing assortment of great fish and not one is lost. Let us pray to cast our nets precisely where the Lord directs.