Dec 28, 2009

The Art of Fishing

There is an art to fishing, and Jesus demonstrated the nuances of that skill when He called Peter and Andrew to follow Him.  John Chrysostom (Matthew, homily 14) explains...

"And walking by the sea of Galilee, He saw two brethren, Simon that was surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers.  And He says unto them, 'Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men.'  And they left their nets, and followed Him."  (Matthew 4:18-19)

And yet John says that they were called in another manner.  Whence it is evident that this was a second call; and from many things one may perceive this.  For there it is said, that they came to Him when John was not yet cast into prison; but here, after he was in confinement. And there Andrew calls Peter, but here Jesus calls both.  And John says, Jesus seeing Simon coming, says, You are Simon, the Son of Jona, you shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone. (John 1:42)

But Matthew says that he was already called by that name; for his words are, Seeing Simon that was called Peter. And from the place whence they were called, and from many other things, one may perceive this; and from their ready obedience, and abandonment of all. For now they were well instructed beforehand. Thus, in the other case, Andrew is seen coming into His house, and hearing many things; but here, having heard one bare word, they followed immediately. Since neither was it unnatural for them to follow Him at the beginning, and then leave Him again and return anew to their own craft, when they saw both John thrown into prison, and Himself departing. Accordingly you see that He finds them actually fishing. But He neither forbad them at the first when minded to withdraw, nor having withdrawn themselves, did He let them go altogether; but He gave way when they started aside from Him, and comes again to win them back; which kind of thing is the great point in fishing.

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