5:10 and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners. 1 Then 2 Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on 3 you will be catching people.” 4 5:11 So 5 when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed 6 him.
14:33 In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions. 7
1 tn Or “business associates.”
2 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
4 tn The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, thus “people.”
sn The kind of fishing envisioned was net – not line – fishing, which involved a circular net that had heavy weights around its perimeter. The occupation of fisherman was labor-intensive. The imagery of using a lure and a line (and waiting for the fish to strike) is thus foreign to this text. Rather, the imagery of a fisherman involved much strain, long hours, and often little results. Jesus’ point may have been one or more of the following: the strenuousness of evangelism, the work ethic that it required, persistence and dedication to the task (often in spite of minimal results), the infinite value of the new “catch” (viz., people), and perhaps an eschatological theme of snatching people from judgment (cf. W. L. Lane, Mark [NICNT], 67; D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:461). If this last motif is in view, then catching people is the opposite of catching fish: The fish would be caught, killed, cooked, and eaten; people would be caught so as to remove them from eternal destruction and to give them new life. With the statement “You will be catching people” Jesus turns the miracle into a metaphor for mission.
5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of Jesus’ pronouncement.
6 sn The expression left everything and followed him pictures discipleship, which means that to learn from Jesus is to follow him as the guiding priority of one’s life.
7 tn Grk “Likewise therefore every one of you who does not renounce all his own possessions cannot be my disciple.” The complex double negation is potentially confusing to the modern reader and has been simplified in the translation. See L&N 57.70.
sn The application of the saying is this: Discipleship requires that God be in first place. The reference to renunciation of all his own possessions refers to all earthly attachments that have first place.