16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
There is a lot of insight to gain here. Jesus called “fishermen.” Contemporary Jewish literature speaks much about people whose jobs made them virtually incapable of keeping the law of Moses. Two of these groups were carpenters and fishermen. Carpenters because they doubled as undertakers and were handling dead bodies all the time, and fishermen because they had to handle and sort mixed caches of clean and unclean fish. Both groups were incapable of observing the strict Jewish rules about purity, which prohibited contact with anything unclean. Yet Jesus calls precisely such fishermen, who hovered on the fringes of Jewish religious life. It’s a powerful reminder of the way in which the Christian gospel reaches out to everyone – even those whom society regards as powerless or valueless.