JESUS: Brothers, by Mark G. Boyer

Reflections for Holy Week and Easter

Brothers Mark G. Boyer

 

Scripture:As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him.  As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James, son of Zebedee, and his brother, John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.  Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22)

 

Reflection: The above passage from Matthew’s gospel looks familiar because the author of Matthew’s gospel used Mark’s gospel as a source for his own work.  However, while the two passages are similar, they are also different.  Mark emphasizes the immediacy of the first disciples’ response to Jesus’s call.  Matthew keeps that emphasis, but embellishes the account with a focus on the two pairs of brothers.  Simon, called Peter, and Andrew are brothers.  James and John, sons of Zebedee, are brothers.  Thus, Jesus calls brothers; he calls men who already know each other and can support each other in fishing for people.

One does not answer a divine call alone.  Such individualism is foreign to most Biblical narratives.  When God calls Abraham, he doesn’t call him alone.  God also calls his wife, Sarah, their servants, and others to leave their homeland and travel to a new land.  When God calls Moses, he doesn’t call him alone.  God also calls his brother, Aaron, and their sister, Miriam.  God’s call of Samuel is not for Samuel alone; Eli is present to help the boy understand the call.

Jesus calls brothers to join him in his mission in Galilee and beyond.  They will support each other in their work of evangelization.  In other words, one does not fish for people alone.  That is why all the members of a family often belong to the same church and travel together on a mission trip.  Adult siblings solicit each other’s material, spiritual, and financial support for supplying a soup kitchen, volunteering in a homeless shelter, or participating in a building project.  While a person may participate in some type of home visitation like meals on wheels, hospice, taking the elderly to doctor’s appointments, etc. serving others with a partner enables the two people to support each other in their mission.

Journal/Meditation: In what type of mission do you have a partner?  How does he or she support you?  How do you support him or her?

Prayer: Your Son called the brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John, to fish for others, Almighty God.  Grant me the support of a fellow disciple in the work you have given me to do.  I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever.  Amen.

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