God’s Promise Of Forever Love – Matthew 4:19
God made a promise of forever love, a promise that reverses sin and changes the world back into God’s original plan for humans since the Garden of Eden.
Fishing is a metaphor Jesus used to help His followers understand the Kingdom of Heaven and the earthly life a follower of Jesus will live. It was something Jew, Greek and Roman all would understand at the time of Jesus. Fishing was done mainly in the dark so the fish could not see the nets cast to catch them.
Fishing was oppressive to most and lucrative to some, so it is no surprise when Jesus began His ministry, Isaiah 9:1-2 was the Scripture being fulfilled. The area of Galilee was the first to be affected by the Assyrian invasion of 732 BC, and it was affected by Roman oppression at the time of Jesus that eventually led to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
The Jews were in darkness, being controlled by selfish leadership and greedy godless government. The common people were being swayed by the influencers of their day. The people were living in death, walking dead men being hunted by evil darkness in need of the Light, so God sent His Light to earth to save them.
Jesus left Nazareth and moved to Capernaum to start His ministry. From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” -Matthew 4:17 Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a poor small country town that only had one well. No one visited Nazareth unless they were really thirsty and really needed some water. It was a town full of drunkards and all sorts of evil activity.
Jesus probably witnessed all kinds of sin growing up in Nazareth, but He did not participate in it. Capernaum was a coastal city where Jesus found His first four disciples; Peter, Andrew, James and John. Matthew the tax collector lived there too. The most important part of fishing back then was the net, which constantly needed repaired and taken care of every day.
When Jesus saw Peter and Andrew casting a net into the sea to fish, they were using a casting net, the type of net that symbolized personal hands on ministry, the type of ministry that would require agape love, which prophetically appears 33 times in the New Testament.
Peter ended up denying Jesus 3 times after Jesus was arrested to be crucified. After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to Peter and asked him 3 times if he loved Him, a scene that no doubt played over and over again in Peter’s mind the rest of his life, a scene that was sure to embed repentance, redemption and restoration into Peter’s mind.
James and John were mending seine nets when Jesus found them. Jesus’ first 4 disciples were hardworking young fisherman. A fisherman at the time of Jesus worked year round and at night during all kinds of bad weather. To be a successful fisherman was difficult. Tax collectors oppressed them based on family size and success. Fishing areas were limited and expensive fishing licenses were required to fish the easier places.
Most fisherman did not have much money. Big business made all the money distributing finished products throughout the land. A successful fisherman would have understood how much fishing was embedded into the economy. The regulation of fishing could not be separated from politics, religion or family, a view point necessary to be understood and applied to the ministry by Jesus’ inner circle.
The Roman economy was setup to work in favor of the elitists who kept getting more powerful. No one doing the work had any control over fees, fishing licenses or tax collection. It has been that way since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden and gave control over their work and economy to the serpent, a decision that only God Himself was able to reverse.
A world left to itself without a Savior will always go in the direction of greed and self centered thought. That is the reason why God took the Tree of Life away from us, so we would not live forever in a sinful body. God executed His plan to give Believers a new heart, a heart that will not take advantage of other people, a heart anyone who chooses can attain. God limits our time on earth now until the day when we will live forever on earth with Him again, just like God planned it in the Garden of Eden.
Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” –Matthew 4:19