A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Jesus calls his first disciples


Jesus was standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. There Calling of the discipleswere many people there, all crowing round him as he taught them, so that many could neither see nor hear him. Two fishing boats were drawn up on the beach. Their owners were nearby, washing their nets after a night’s fishing. Jesus climbed into one of the boats and asked its owners, including Simon, to row him a little way out from shore. From this vantage point, he carried on teaching for a while.

Afterwards, he asked Simon to row into the middle of the lake and to let down his nets. Simon said, ‘We have been fishing all night with no results! But, if you want me to do this, Master, then I will.’

As soon as the nets were lowered, they filled with fish. In fact, there were so many that Simon had to call over James and John, his colleagues from the other boat, to help land the fish. Even so, the two boats were near to sinking with the sheer weight of the catch. When Simon saw how many fish they had caught, he fell to his knees, saying that he was too sinful a man to be in the presence of Jesus. ‘Do not be frightened,’ Jesus replied. ‘From this day you will ‘catch’ men, not fish.’ 

Note: Simon was later called Peter by Jesus (so is sometimes called Simon Peter). According to Mark 1:14-20 Simon’s brother Andrew was also present and was called by Jesus, as were James and John.

The story illustrates:

  • That trusting and obeying Jesus can have dramatic results
  • Jesus’ power over nature
  • The belief that Jesus called ordinary people to be his disciples

Related Topics

Big Ideas: Miracles

Bible References

Luke 5:1-11
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