Just before John the Baptist was taken prisoner, he had told two of his men to go and follow Jesus. One man was called Andrew. When he and his friend found Jesus, they started walking behind Him. Jesus turned and said, “What do you want?”
They asked if they could go to where He was staying that evening. They wanted to listen to Him teach. Jesus said yes.
John’s followers had learned from John how important it is to listen to the truth. John had said, “One greater than I is coming soon. Follow Him.”
As Andrew listened to Jesus, he thought to himself, “I must tell everyone I know that this is the man John was talking about.”
Andrew went to find his brother. “Simon!” he called. “Simon, we’ve found the Messiah! Come, Simon, come and we’ll take you to Him.”
Simon did not know what to think. When Jesus saw him, He said, “You are Simon the son of John. You will be called Cephas or Peter.” The names Cephas and Peter both meant “Rock. “This was the first time Jesus met Simon. Because of this meeting,
Simon soon came to be called Simon Peter. Later he was called Peter.
The next day Jesus went to Galilee. There he saw a man called Philip. “Follow Me,” He said, and Philip did Philip went to a friend called Nathanael. He said, “We’ve found the One Moses and the prophets spoke about. It’s Jesus from Nazareth!”
Nathanael laughed. He said he did not think there were any good people in Nazareth. But when he actually saw Jesus, Jesus said, “I know you, Nathanael. You believe in God. You try very hard to do what He wants. Just now, I know you were sitting under a fig tree, thinking, when Philip called you.”
Nathanael was amazed that Jesus would know what he had been doing. Nathanael said, “I believe. You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”
Jesus smiled. “Do you believe so easily? I tell you, you will see greater things than these.”
After Andrew brought Peter to meet Jesus, the two brothers returned home. They were fishermen and needed to take care of their boats and nets.
Peter noticed a huge crowd of people coming toward him. They were being led by Jesus.
Jesus walked right up to Peter. He got into his boat and asked him to pull out a little way from the land. Then Jesus sat down in the boat. He began teaching all the people who lined the shore.
When Jesus had finished speaking, He turned to Peter. “Go out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Peter said, “Teacher, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But all right, I will do as You say.”
Peter dropped his net overboard. He started to haul it in again and got the surprise of his life. It was full to the bursting point! He called another boat to come and help him. By the time he and the other men had hauled all the fish on board, both boats were ready to sink.
When Peter saw the great catch of fish, he cried, “Oh, yes, You are the Lord! But I’m not a good man at all. Please just leave me alone!”
Jesus told him and Andrew, “Don’t be afraid. Follow Me and I will help you become fishers of men.” Then Peter and Andrew put down their nets. They landed their boats, which were full of fish, and followed Jesus.
As they walked along the shore, they soon met Peter’s partners, two brothers named James and John. Jesus went up to them. “Follow Me,” He said. They took one look at Jesus’ face, felt their hearts turn over and agreed.
These men became Jesus’ closest friends. They followed Him everywhere as He taught the people. They watched and learned from Him. They were Jesus’ helpers, His disciples.