After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.
At beginning of his public ministry Jesus sought to gather those who would proclaim and bear witness to the Good News and to help build up the Kingdom of God. This call to discipleship was accepted by those who experienced a metanoia i.e. a conversion of heart, enabling them to see in Jesus a model for a new way of living, and thus they readily accepted his invitation to come and ‘follow me’.
In each of the synoptic Gospels Jesus called his disciples two by two, perhaps signifying that from the very beginning Christian living was to be communal and that those charged with the responsibility of evangelization and Christian witness would be comforted and strengthened by the support of others.
Just as Jesus called them two by two he also sent forth his followers in pairs (Mark 6:7), commissioning them to go out and preach the Good News. As they set out on their mission they were to take nothing with them for they placed complete trust in the Lord in the very same way that Simon and Andrew and James and John had responded to their first encounter with him.
We too are called to repent and believe in the Good News. This invitation challenges us to new way of living, enabling us to love God and others more so that our own, sometimes selfish desires, lose hold on ourselves. By accepting Jesus invitation, “follow me” and the demands of Christian discipleship we come to live life to the full (John 10:10).