Matthew 4 begins with the story of Jesus being tempted by the devil during his days in the wilderness and how Jesus rebuked the devil’s attempts. It continues with the beginning of his ministry and the recruitment of his first disciples – Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John.
Luke 4 also begins with Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness and matches the story of Matthew. When it comes to telling about the start of Jesus’ ministry, Luke provides us with more detail than Matthew regarding Jesus returning to his hometown of Nazareth to the point of them almost pushing him off a cliff! Just like in the other Gospels, Luke tells of the miracles Jesus performed.
Luke 5 begins with the recruitment of Simon Peter. Jesus is trying to get out of the mass of people that were gathering to hear him speak, so he climbed into Simon Peter’s boat and they head out into the deeper part of the lake. When Jesus finished preaching, he tells Simon Peter to cast his nets into the water. Simon Peter tells him that they haven’t caught anything all day, but that he would cast them again because Jesus said to. With that, Simon Peter pulled in so many fish that he had to call on John and James to help. Simon Peter fell to his knees in front of Jesus and asked him to leave because he (Peter) was not worthy. Jesus told him not to be afraid and that now he would be a “fisher of men.” Simon Peter, James, and John left everything and followed Jesus.
After additional stories about the miracles Jesus performed, Luke introduces us to Matthew – the tax collector — in chapter 5. We find how the Pharisees ridiculed Jesus for dining with what they considered sinners. Jesus tells the Pharisees that “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” (Luke 5:31-3).
Today’s Nourishment: Can you imagine how amazing it would have been to experience life as one of the original disciples of Jesus? While their stories all recount the life and ministry of Jesus, I love their different perspectives. In the case of today’s reading, Matthew tells us very little about Jesus’ return to his hometown of Nazareth, yet Luke tells us they wanted to push him off a cliff. Matthew mentions the recruitment of Simon Peter, James, John, but it is Luke who tells us the story of how they came to believe in Jesus.
I find that the different perspectives paint a much broader picture of what it would have been like to walk with them, while they follow Jesus. I may like Luke’s version of how Jesus recruited Simon Peter better than Matthew’s, but the point is that Simon Peter—along with the rest of the original twelve–got recruited…not necessarily how they were recruited and them became “fishers of men.”
The same goes for us today. It doesn’t matter how someone fished for you and you found Jesus—it only matters that someone fished for you and you found Christ as your Lord and Savior. How are you in turn “Fishing for People?”
Tomorrow’s Delight: John 2-4
Hugs & Blessings,