Jesus asks some men to go with him
1 One day, Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. A crowd was pushing to get near to him. They were listening to him. He was speaking God's message to them.
5:1‘Lake Gennesaret’ is another name for the ‘Sea of Galilee’. The town called Capernaum is on the shore of this lake.
2 Jesus saw two fishing boats at the edge of the lake. The fishermen had left the boats there and they were now washing their nets.
5:2A fisherman is someone who catches fish. Many of Jesus' disciples were fishermen. They included Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. The fishermen caught fish from the lake with nets. They tied thin rope together to make these. They washed them after they had been out to catch fish. And then they mended them. The nets were then ready for them to use again.
3 One of the boats belonged to Simon. Jesus climbed into it. He asked Simon to push it away from the shore. Jesus sat in the boat and he started to teach the people.
5:3The boat was a good place for Jesus to sit. The people on the shore could see him and hear him.
4 When Jesus finished teaching, he said to Simon, ‘Now take the boat out into deep water. Then put the nets into the water to catch some fish.’
5 Simon replied, ‘Teacher, we worked all last night and we did not catch anything. But because you say it, I will put the nets into the water again.’ 6 So they went and they put the nets down into the water. When they did that, they caught many fish. There were so many fish that the nets began to break. 7 So Simon shouted to the other fishermen that worked with him. ‘Come here!’ he said, ‘We need you.’ When they saw that, the men came in their boat. They filled both boats with the fish. There were so many fish that the boats began to go down under the water. 8 When Simon saw all the fish, he went down on his knees in front of Jesus. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I am a bad man. So please go away from me.’
5:8Simon saw all the fish. Then he knew that God was with Jesus. So, Simon felt that he, himself, was a very bad man. He knew that God does not like bad things.
9 Simon said this because he was very surprised. He was surprised because they had caught so many fish. His friends in the other boat were also very surprised. 10 James and John were very surprised too. They were Zebedee's sons and they worked with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. You have been catching fish. From now on you will catch people!’
5:10Jesus wanted to teach Simon, James and John about ‘catching men’. They would learn how to tell people the good news about Jesus. They had brought fish out of the water. Now they would bring people to Jesus, so that they could believe in him.
11 After that, they went and they pulled their boats up on the shore. Then they left everything behind and they went with Jesus.