"Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." (Luke 5:10)

Here Jesus, after giving a lecture to a crowd at the Lake of Gennesaret - 'with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God' (Luke 5:1) - enlists James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon and Simon's fishing partners to follow him and eventually become his disciples.

At one point, Jesus actually sat down in one of the boats and gave his lecture from inside the boat:
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. (Luke 5:3)
While many sectarian put emphasis on Jesus' miracle of the fish after his lecture, the connection between Jesus' lecture and his enlisting the fishermen to follow him has been largely overlooked.

Did Jesus' best students follow Jesus because of miracles?


This concept is furthest from the truth, and borne by those who have little faith in the Supreme Being and the ability of Jesus' teachings to change people's hearts. They need various signs and miracles in order to believe, but their believing is weak because it is dependent upon these. Jesus confirmed this when he said:
"A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!" (Matthew 12:39)
We see this weak belief in God today as so many people are focused on seeing some sort of "miraculous sign" - such as seeing Jesus' face on a piece of food or piece of cloth. Jesus is condemning this because it has little to do with Jesus' real teachings - related to developing one's trust and loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

Rather, we can see from later in the text that Jesus' dedicated students such as James and Simon (Peter) became leading teachers after Jesus' passing. They spread Jesus' message throughout the region.

These close disciples of Jesus did not follow him because of his miracles. They followed him because his teachings made sense to them. They followed them because what he taught struck a chord in them. What he taught was the Truth about God and the spiritual realm.

Jesus confirms this in his statement, "from now on you will catch men." Why would Jesus say they would "catch men"?

Consider carefully what this means. To "catch men" means to capture the hearts of others. It means to convince others of the Truth. It means to teach others.

Jesus was recruiting students who would teach others


Jesus was enlisting students to learn the truth from him in order to teach others.

This means Jesus' intention and motive was to teach others. He wasn't out to gain a bunch of followers so he could feel good, being everyone's leader. He wanted his students to become leaders. He wanted to get God's message out to people.

Being the teacher wasn't Jesus' focus. It was what he was teaching.

This is why Jesus was willing to accept his physical body being murdered because of his teachings. Those Jewish chief priests who had Jesus arrested together with the Romans did not murder Jesus because he roamed around Judea. It was because his teachings threatened their authority.

Jesus' teachings taught people to give their lives to the Supreme Being. He taught them to worship God above all, and establish a loving relationship with God. This threatened their positions of authority because they sought to control the population with their Jewish regulations and laws.

They utilized their positions among the Jewish temples not to teach people to love God as Moses taught, but to govern and control the population. This satisfied the Roman governor because the people were under control. But as soon as the chief priests told Pilate that Jesus threatened their authority by teaching something different, they had his body murdered.

And Jesus did not run away from this. He did not say that the most important thing was to maintain his position as their teacher. He did not seek the protection of his disciples, even though they were ready to fight on his behalf to protect him. Rather, he allowed his body to be murdered because he wanted them to understand how important his teachings were.

Jesus wanted his students to pass on to others what he taught them. It was his teachings that were most important to him, because these teachings were coming from the Supreme Being:
"These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:24)
In other words, Jesus' focus was to serve the Supreme Being because he loved God. And God wants to deliver us a message. God wants us to be happy, and we will not be happy until we return to our loving relationship with Him. We will not be fulfilled until we return to our natural condition of being one of God's loving caregivers in the spiritual realm. Jesus confirmed this with his most important instruction:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)