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18: Jesus Personally Calls His First Four Disciples

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 5:1-11; Mark 1:19-20

Harmony Texts: Matt. 4:18-22     Mark 1:16-20    Luke 5:1-11

Key verse: Mark 1:17-18


  1. Jesus Teaches in Capernaum                    Luke 5:1-3
  2. Jesus Fishes in Capernaum                       Luke 5:4-10
  3. Jesus Says “Come Fish with Me”            Luke 5:11; Mark 1:19-20


We recall that in Lesson 11, John 1:13-51, five former disciples of John the Baptist left John to follow Jesus [perhaps a sixth was James].  All were from Galilee, Capernaum and Bethsaida, and at least 4 of the 5 or 6 were in the fishing business.  This lesson talks of their specific and personal call from Jesus [Peter and Andrew, James and John] to change vocations from fishing to ministry. Nathaniel and Phillip are not mentioned.

A. T. Robertson sees these passages as being parallel and we will treat them as such.  Gundry and Thomas believe the Luke account takes place later because there are some specific differences between the Luke account and the Matthew/Mark accounts.  But I will assume they are parallel in the following manner:

Luke 5:1-11 is the more detailed account of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew [not mentioned], the first boat.

Mark 1:19-20 and Matt. 4:21-22 is the more detailed account surrounding the calling of James and John [Andrew mentioned], the second boat.

To consider these texts parallel and not separate, we would describe the sequence of events as follows:

  1. Jesus is teaching along the shore of Galilee and the crowd is growing.
  2. Jesus comes upon two boats of the fishing partners, Simon and Andrew and James and John.  They have fished all night and caught nothing.  They are cleaning their nets by throwing them from shore into the shallow waters.
  3. Jesus gets into Peter’s boat to get away from the crowd and continues teaching from the boat.  When He is through teaching He asks Simon to put down his nets.  They become so filled with fish as they go further along the shore that they are forced to call James and John to get into their boat and come help.
  4. After the fish are brought to shore, Jesus personally calls Peter and then Andrew.  He walks over to the other boat and calls James and John.

So it is reasonable to place these accounts together because of their similarity or to separate them because of their differences.


  1. The workplace is a very effective place in which to minister. Set a positive example.
  2. Miracles abound with Jesus at the helm.  He desires to be personally involved in your life.He desires to be personally involved in your life. He may even ask you to change jobs.
  3. Follow and obey Christ in your vocation and reap benefits, blessings, and renewed purpose.Change your focus from making money to serving people.

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