Matthew 4:20

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Matthew 4:20 is the twentieth verse of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Jesus has just begun preaching in Galilee and has encountered the fishermen Simon Peter and Andrew. He has called them to join him as "fishers of men," and in this verse the pair take up his offer.

The original Koine Greek, according to Westcott and Hort, reads:

οι δε ευθεως αφεντες τα δικτυα ηκολουθησαν αυτω

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

They immediately left their nets and followed him

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 4:20

The traditional view is that the decision to join Jesus after this brief meeting was an example of his divine power. France, however, notes that this view is not explicit in the Gospel and that the alternate view that Jesus knew, and was even close friends, with both men beforehand is perfectly possible. John 1 and Luke 5:3 imply this version of events.[1] Clarke notes that as a carpenter one of Jesus' tasks might very well have been building and repairing fishing vessels and he thus had many opportunities to interact and befriend fishers such as Simon and Andrew.[2]

Albright and Mann note that Matthew consistently emphasizes the importance of renunciation in coming to Jesus, as represented by the fishers' abandonment of their nets. Fishing was a profitable, but capital intensive, occupation and abandoning everything would have been an important sacrifice.[3] Clarke notes that this abandonment of worldly possessions was taken as a model by later Christian ascetics.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
  2. ^ Clarke, Howard W. The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
  3. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  4. ^ Clarke, Howard W. The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.


Preceded by
Matthew 4:19
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 4
Succeeded by
Matthew 4:21