Early one morning, returning with no fish after fishing all night, Peter and Andrew saw Jesus talking to a crowd of people by the shore. Turning to Simon who was just beaching his boat Jesus told him to take his boat out and fish again.
"We have fished all night and caught nothing," Simon told him, "but we will do what you say."
Sailing out onto the sea, their nets had hardly touched the water when they were filled to the breaking point with fish.
Quickly returning to the shore, Simon fell to his knees before Jesus, saying, "Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man!"
"Follow me," Jesus told him, "and I will make you a fisher of men."
Then, leaving their boats and their nets, their families and their friends, Simon and the others followed Jesus from that time on.
They set out for the other towns and places in Galilee. Enthusiastic crowds met them wherever they went, except for Nazareth and a few other places. Jesus taught, cured the sick and even raised the dead to life. Always, Simon was at his side as a loyal friend, enthusiastic and quick to speak his mind, ready for anything, a natural leader among the disciples themselves.
Not that Simon understood everything. Though he loved his Jewish traditions, he was hardly an expert in religious matters. He was a fisherman who knew the mysterious waters of the sea. Yet their mysteries could not compare with the mysterious dimensions of the person he followed now.
Their relationship only deepened with time. Simon was not just a disciple of Jesus or a witness to the wonders he worked. They were friends, bound together by a friendship that seemed incapable of being broken.
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