Simon and Andrew follow Jesus (Mk 1:17-1:18)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Follow me!

I will make you

Fish for people.’

Immediately.

They left their nets.

They followed him.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλεεῖς ἀνθρώπων.

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

 

Mark, like Matthew, chapter 4:19-20, almost word for word, indicated that Jesus wanted these two fishermen brothers to follow him.  Jesus said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to come and follow after him (Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου,), since he was going to make them fishers of human people (καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλεεῖς ἀνθρώπων).  They immediately left their nets (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα) and followed or accompanied Jesus (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  They were no longer going to fish for marine life, but human life.  This was a like an Israelite prophetic call, since Jesus spoke directly to these two men.  He issued an invitation that seemed like a command at the same time.  They were to follow after him, no matter what.  They were to be on the hunt for humans, and not fish.  Like the Hebrew prophets, their response was immediate, without any hesitation.  They left their fishing nets, as they began to follow Jesus.  Thus, Simon and Andrew, the fishing brothers of Galilee, became the first two disciples of Jesus.  John, chapter 1:35-42, may shed further light on these two disciples of Jesus, since he indicated that Andrew and Simon were disciples of John the Baptist when Jesus came to John.  Then they became disciples of Jesus.

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Jesus sees Simon and Andrew (Mk 1:16-1:16)

“As Jesus

Passed along

The Sea of Galilee,

He saw Simon,

And his brother

Andrew.

They were casting a net

Into the sea.

They were fishermen.”

 

Καὶ παράγων παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἶδεν Σίμωνα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν Σίμωνος ἀμφιβάλλοντας ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ· ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλεεῖς.

 

Mark, as well as the other 3 canonical gospels, has Jesus meeting Simon for the first time at the beginning of his ministry.  Luke, chapter 5:1:11, has an elaborate story about Simon, where there was no mention of his brother Andrew, as Jesus and Simon went out fishing together.  In John, chapter 1:35-42, Andrew and Simon were disciples of John the Baptist, from the town of Bethsaida, about 5 miles north of Capernaum, near the Sea of Galilee.  However, here as in Matthew, chapter 4:18, which is almost word for word, there are only the simple comments about the brothers Simon and Andrew being fishermen.  Mark recounts that as Jesus was passing by, walking, or strolling along the Sea of Galilee (Καὶ παράγων παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας), he saw Simon and his brother Andrew (εἶδεν Σίμωνα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν Σίμωνος) casting or dropping a net into the sea (ἀμφιβάλλοντας ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ), since they were fishermen (ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλεεῖς).  Mark did not mention the other name of Simon as Peter, like Matthew did.  However, it was common for people to have both a Hebrew name like Simon and a Greek name like Peter.  Both these brothers were casting their large fishing nets into the Sea of Galilee, which was about 13 miles long by 8 miles wide, about 80 miles north of the Dead Sea, at the north end of the Jordan River.

Third narrative

This third narrative centered around a variety of miracles and various comments to his disciples.  Jesus cured the leper before great crowds, but then told him to keep it a secret.  Then he cured the centurion’s paralyzed servant at Capernaum.  This Roman soldier understood the role of authority since he had faith.  Jesus chastised the failure of the sons of Abraham but healed the Roman centurion’s servant.

Jesus also cured other sick and possessed people, including Peter’s mother-in-law.  He thus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  He had some scribe followers, even though Jesus was homeless.  Was the death of a father enough to disrupt a disciple?  During a stormy boat ride, they woke up Jesus.  Thus, he responded by showing them his power by calming the storm.

Jesus cured the two possessed demoniacs who were calling out to him as the Son of God.  These demons wanted to be pigs, so that they died in the sea, jumping off a cliff.  However, the herdsmen in the city were upset so that the people asked Jesus to leave.

Jesus then went home and cured a paralytic.  Did Jesus blaspheme?  What was the difference between sin and sickness?  The people were amazed at his powers.  Jesus then called Matthew, the tax collector.  Jesus hung out with these tax collectors and sinners, so that the Pharisees complained.  Jesus responded by asking if well people needed doctors?  Then there was a citation from Hosea about mercy.

The Pharisees wanted to know why his disciples were not fasting, but the disciples of John the Baptist were.  Jesus explained that there would be no fasting while he, the bridegroom, was present.  You did not use old cloth to mend clothes or put new wine in old wineskins.

Then Jesus cured the woman with hemorrhages, because she was a woman of faith.  Then he cured the dead girl who was only sleeping.  He cured the two blind men because they were believers also.  He cured the mute person so that he could speak again.  The Pharisees questioned the power of Jesus.  However, Jesus had compassion for the sheep because there would be a need for many laborers at the harvest time.

Then Jesus began his apostolic talk to his disciples, in particular about the authority of the twelve disciples, with four major apostles.  Matthew then listed the twelve apostles that would be sent to the Jews and what their work was.  Jesus told them what to bring with them and where to stay.  He told them how to enter a house.  Those unhospitable towns who did not accept them would be punished.  These apostles should be like wise simple sheep.  When they would be persecuted, the Holy Spirit would speak through them.  They would be involved in family disputes and hated.  Both the teacher and his disciples would suffer, but they should not be afraid.  They should proclaim the message.  They were to worry about their souls, since they had more value than sparrows.  They should acknowledge Jesus whether in peace or with the sword.  Who was worthy of Jesus?  You had to pick up your cross and lose your life to find it.  Receive Jesus and be a prophet as the righteous disciple of Jesus.