Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.…
Following Christ, if rightly understood, is the destruction of selfishness. It casts off the idols of worldly prudence and worldly maxims from the heart, and puts there instead the supreme self-sacrifice of Christ. Well might these two plain men have said, "What! leave all and follow Thee? leave our nets and boats that we have bought with our few savings? ruin our worldly chances, and go forth to we know not what — all for the hope of doing good? Where is the gain, where is the advantage to ourselves?" But the man who receives Christ into his heart cannot reason in that way. Tell him that he is giving up his worldly chances, that he is injuring his strength, that he is working without hope of reward on earth; and he must still reply, "My aim is not the gratitude of men, but the favour of God. I am not working for the regard of men, but for the 'Well done' of my Master." To do that which pleasure prompts, to do that which does not clash with our inclinations — even the world can go as far as that. But the true disciple is he who leaves his nets and boats at the command of Christ; the man who goes out to a foreign land, leaving kindred and home that he may preach the unsearchable riches of Christ; the Sunday school teacher who gives up the hour needed, perchance, for rest, that the ignorant may be taught, and the feet of children led into the narrow way. Christ calls us to the higher discipleship, because it is His purpose that we, under God, should bring back the world to His sway...Let us rise above the low level where we can only read the word "duty," to that grander height where we can see that all Christian service is a privilege and a joy; and though heart and flesh fail sometimes, let us walk as seeing the invisible. The divinest life that ever the world knew carried its cross every step of the way, and your life will not be worth much unless you carry your cross too. Nothing great or good is ever born into the world without travail and pain.
(J. H. Shakespeare, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.