Matthew 4:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:18, NIV: As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

Matthew 4:18, ESV: While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.

Matthew 4:18, KJV: And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

Matthew 4:18, NASB: Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Matthew 4:18, NLT: One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers--Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew--throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.

Matthew 4:18, CSB: As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea--for they were fishermen.

What does Matthew 4:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has moved to Capernaum and has fully engaged in His ministry on earth as the Christ. Matthew now begins to introduce Jesus' disciples. Capernaum was a fishing town on the Sea of Galilee. It is not surprising that Jesus called several fishermen to follow Him there.

This was not the first time Jesus met Peter and Andrew. John, the apostle, tells that story in his book about Jesus (John 1:35–42). Andrew had been a former disciple of John the Baptist and was standing with John one day when John saw Jesus and called out, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" Andrew understood Jesus to be the Messiah in that moment and went to get his brother Simon to meet Jesus. Jesus took one look at Simon and immediately changed his name to Cephas, which has passed through languages like Greek and English to become "Peter."

Jesus apparently did not call the brothers to follow Him at that first meeting. Peter and Andrew were from another fishing town on the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida, but they had moved to Capernaum and were working as fishermen there. Jesus saw them as He was walking.

The brothers were in the midst of casting a net into the water. This method of fishing involves throwing out a circular net with lead sinkers attached to its edges. As it sinks, it traps the fish beneath and inside it. Such nets were about 20 feet across. The fact that the brothers were in the middle of casting a net makes their immediate obedience to Jesus' command in the following verses even more striking.

The Sea of Galilee, named after the region of Galilee, was also known as the "Lake of Gennesaret," as it is called by Luke (Luke 5:1).