5:9 For 1 Peter 2 and all who were with him were astonished 3 at the catch of fish that they had taken, 5:10 and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners. 4 Then 5 Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on 6 you will be catching people.” 7
1 sn An explanatory conjunction (For) makes it clear that Peter’s exclamation is the result of a surprising set of events. He speaks, but the others feel similarly.
2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 sn In the Greek text, this term is in an emphatic position.
4 tn Or “business associates.”
5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
7 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.