Peter & John
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.
Peter and John had been fishermen, it was their occupation before Jesus called them to follow him.
It was evident to those present that they did not attend their schools, and were not holders of doctorates, nor certificates of commendation.
Those people were scribes, priests, pharisees, men of notoriety, and recognized as the leading minds of the law.
Who were Peter and John?
Peter and John were the next work of God to upset the religious balance and order of things. Jesus had already caused waves, and made the “religious” order show their true colors.
Peter and John were content to speak the things they have seen and heard, and they did recognize that they were to obey God rather than men, and is what they did (vss 19-20).
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
This was Matthew’s simple account of when Jesus called Peter and John, but there’s more to this story.
Luke 5:1-11 also records this event with both Peter and Andrew, as well as James, and John, and Jesus tells them that from then on they would catch men.
In this account, Peter and the others were done fishing for the night, and they had not caught any fish.
Please go back and read it, I’m going to rush through this because I see something big in this.
After a night of catching nothing, Jesus tells them to cast out once again, but this time it’s a great catch, so big that they were all needed to bring it in.
So, Jesus tells them to follow him, and they will catch men.
Often in scripture, the bible refers to mankind as those masses of humanity that resemble the sea.
Daniel had a vision of four great beasts that came up out of the sea. Those beasts represent kingdoms in the flood of all of humanity (Daniel 7).
In Ezekiel 32, God tells pharaoh that he is like a whale in the sea, and that he would pull him out and cast him on dry ground. The whale signifies the size and strength of his kingdom, but God will overthrow it.
I just wanted to give a small reference for this sea of humanity.
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
If you don’t know Jeremiah, his was a ministry during the worst time in the history of the kingdom of Judah.
The kings were corrupt, the priests were idolaters, and the prophets were false. It would lead to a time of exile.
Also, some hundred years before, the northern kingdom of Israel had been taken captive by Assyria, so at the time of Jeremiah, he was prophesying both the exile and the restoration of the nation, but Jeremiah also saw the coming of gentiles to this same Kingdom.
God was saying…
“…Behold, I will send for many fishers…and after will I send for many hunters…”
On the surface, it does look like God will send people out to recover the nation, but God also says…
“…and they shall fish them…and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks…”
It’s an ongoing fulfillment of prophecy, and it began with Peter and John, as well as the rest of the disciples.
The restoration of Israel is one of the greatest prophecies to take place in the last generation, but it’s still ongoing as the the nation continues to grow from returning exiles from many parts of the world.
As I see it, Jeremiah’s prophecy is as much spiritual as it is literal.
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
After the crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, there was a time that he spent with them. I believe it was to solidify their experience that it really was him, and not a ghost or spirit.
While the disciples were restless, Peter decided to go fishing. I find it to be a great character in a man to not be idle. I believe Peter was antsy.
There’s quite a bit going on here, so I need to limit myself in what I see.
First of all, Peter was in “doing” mode, he knew there was something to be done, so he went back to what he knew how to do. It’s likely that he didn’t understand what was happening, nor do I think he remembered that Jesus told him that he would catch men.
He did know how to fish. The rest of the disciples also joined him. They were all ready to get to work.
Peter was patient. He knew that it takes a full night to do the fishing, and was prepared, if at least to have a small catch, but they caught nothing.
I like that Peter said…
“…I go a fishing…”
Could Peter have known that God said through Jeremiah that God would send for many fishers?
It could be that at that point Peter may not have known. As it turned out, Jesus found Peter doing what he said he would do.
The natural work of fishing is a parable for Peter and his occupation. The beauty of this, is that God may not send you farther than what you’ve always known, but he will give you a depth to work in.
What is your natural strength? God can magnify it for his glory.
I grew up in the church. My dad was a preacher, and a pastor, but he was also a full time employee at his job.
My dad did love to fish.
When my dad was ordained to pastor, he understood that he would need to supply the membership of the church.
He was charged with a church building in a Hispanic neighborhood, which for many years was an anglo church. The residing membership was getting old in years, and the young people were moving away, but they wanted the church to go on with new life.
So, my dad began knocking on doors, he ministered on door steps when he wasn’t working his other job. He did raise a membership, and inside of 7-8 years, the church building was turned over to the Hispanic mission, which became a Hispanic church.
My dad’s name was Pedro, a variation of Peter. I didn’t realize until now that my dad went “a fishing”, and he did make a great catch!
So proud of my dad!
Jesus loves you.
Pedro Villarreal III
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.