Chapter
Verse

Matthew 4:22

ESV Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
NIV and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
NASB Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
CSB Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
NLT They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
KJV And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

What does Matthew 4:22 mean?

Jesus is gathering His disciples, the twelve men He will train to become fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). So far, he has called two brothers to follow Him. Andrew and Peter did so immediately, leaving their fishing nets and careers behind them (Matthew 4:18–19).

Now Jesus has called two more brothers. James and John were working in a fishing boat with their father, mending fishing nets. They also immediately leave the boat and their father behind to begin the full-time work of being Jesus' disciples. It is likely they knew who Jesus was (John 1:35–39) and believed Him to be the Messiah, as did Andrew and Peter.

James and John appear to leave behind even more than Andrew and Peter, however. They leave behind active careers, but also walk away from family and a successful family business. Becoming Jesus' disciple is immediately costly for them, but they do not hesitate.

Mark's gospel adds the detail that James and John left their father with the hired servants (Mark 1:20); the brothers did not leave their father destitute, helpless, or unable to complete his own work.
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