18 Now walking beside the sea of Galilee He saw two brothers, Simon, the one called Peter, and Andrew, his brother. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
19 And He said (says) to them: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of Men.”
20 Then they immediately left the nets and followed Him.
Simon = ‘heard’
Peter = ‘rock’
Andrew = ‘manly’.
We are not given any details as to whether or not Jesus had had previous dealings with Simon and Andrew. We do know from John’s gospel chapter one that Andrew was a disciples of John the Baptist:
35 On the next day again John stood with two of His disciples,
40 One of the two hearing John and following Him (Jesus) was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
Therefore, we can perhaps assume that this was not the first occasion that Simon and Andrew had encountered Jesus.
However, it was probably the first time that they had seen Jesus since He had returned from His testing time in the wilderness.
We cannot help but notice the ordinariness of the simple statement that Jesus was walking beside the sea. This is something most of us can relate to, since most of us have walked by the sea. There is a simple delight in walking along a beach, hearing the sound of the waves, and smelling the smells of the sea and seaweed.
It is in the very ordinariness of things that Jesus still comes to us and walks beside us. Sometimes it is also true that He comes to us when we are going through difficult times, but it would be wrong of us to think that it is only in these times that Jesus comes to us.
Jesus is Lord of all; therefore, He walks beside us in the common, everyday situations that we all go through.
His promise is to always be with us, and never to forsake us.
The problem that we may have is that when we are in the ‘ordinary’ things we might forget that Jesus is still with us. His assurance is that He is with us, and His presence with us is through the Holy Spirit who lives within us and who is with us forever. That is the promise of Jesus in John 15.17:
16 and I will ask the Father and He will give to you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever.