Summary: Jesus calls true believers to bare the Fruit of the Spirit. Are personal attitudes needing to be dug out so you can bare fruit?
One of the problems about baring the fruit of Christ is the hardness of our attitudes. Four early disciples of Jesus were fishermen. They had attitudes about their skills and profession that Jesus wanted to use for the glory of God. But they had to do some digging in the hardness of their attitudes to understand what Jesus was calling them to become.
Let start further back, Our Lord Jesus must have spent some time in Judea following his baptism. It was during that time of his preaching the Good News and giving meaning to the writings of God’s Word through the prophets where Andrew and Simon became familiar with Jesus being who John proclaimed as the Lamb of God.
Andrew and Simon followed Jesus into Galilee and it was then when Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine at the request of his mother. Following that event Jesus returned to Judea for attending Passover. John described what occurred in 2:13-25 how Jesus cleansed the temple of the money changers. John further tells us about the visit of the leader of the Pharisees (Nicodemus) coming to visit Jesus in the dark of the night.
Mark’s, Matthew’s and Luke’s account tells us that Jesus has returned into Galilee preaching the Good News.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
It was important for me to share this in case you had a similar misunderstanding as I had in my youth. It was not clear to me that Andrew and Simon had a prior understanding of the true identity of Jesus when on this visit into Galilee they left their father’s fishing business to follow Jesus.
The idea of these four fishermen just up and leaving their family business because this man called Jesus asked them to; seemed unlikely to me. Having the perspective of time from hearing him after his baptism and the subsequent events helped to remove the mystery. These fishermen learned from John to prepare the way and hearing Jesus speaking the Word of God with a clear meaning for Jews taught in the Old Testament helps to understand why they responded to his call.
The common hard working folks within the Jewish community had an expectation of putting their trust in the coming of the Messiah and His kingdom. And when Jesus preached or performed a miraculous healing it was understood an experience of God’s kingdom had again come to His chosen children, Israel.
Jesus had a great love and respect for the children of God. Jesus showed this respect in the methods he used to introduce the presence of God to those he taught. Jesus treated those hearing him as being intelligent and responsible. Jesus was capable with His unity with the Father’s will to perform miracles. This was not done to provide shock or awe but confirmation of his title. The Jews present were able to discern their own understanding of who Jesus is.
Jesus had confidence in his message and that these common members of the Jewish community would have hearts open to receive the message, for the Word of God will not return void.
Consider what happened after Jesus had asked Simon to put his boat out a bit from the shore so he could preach to the crowd along the shore. When the time was right he asked Simon to let out his nets. During the cool of the night fish come in closer to the shore. Simon and company had already been fishing during the night and caught nothing. Because Simon had gained and understanding of who Jesus is he did what was asked of him. The catch was so great, causing nets to break and the boat about to sink they signaled the other boat to come and help. Simon fell on his face begging our Lord to depart from him a sinner.
Now Simon Peter was not the kind of sinner we think about. He was not a murderer, prostitute, or tax collector. He was what we all are humans with the capability of sin. It is being in the presence of God that we become aware of our sinful nature. Christ Jesus made the announcement the time had come and asked those hearing His preaching to repent for the kingdom of God was now at hand.