Matthew 4:22
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
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(22) Left the ship and their father.—St. Mark adds, with the hired servants,” a fact of interest as showing that the sons of Zebedee were probably, in some measure, of better means and higher social standing than those of Jona. The absence of the name of the latter suggests the inference that he was no longer living.

The sacrifice of the disciples seems, perhaps, small as compared with others in the history of saints; yet to leave all, to give up the life of home, and its regular occupations, requires, in any case, an effort more or less heroic; and beyond it there lay the future, as yet undiscerned, with all its possible trials and sufferings, to which, by that one act, they pledged themselves. (Comp. 19:27.)

4:18-22 When Christ began to preach, he began to gather disciples, who should be hearers, and afterwards preachers of his doctrine, who should be witnesses of his miracles, and afterwards testify concerning them. He went not to Herod's court, not to Jerusalem, among the chief priests and the elders, but to the sea of Galilee, among the fishermen. The same power which called Peter and Andrew, could have wrought upon Annas and Caiaphas, for with God nothing is impossible. But Christ chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Diligence in an honest calling is pleasing to Christ, and it is no hinderance to a holy life. Idle people are more open to the temptations of Satan than to the calls of God. It is a happy and hopeful thing to see children careful of their parents, and dutiful. When Christ comes, it is good to be found doing. Am I in Christ? is a very needful question to ask ourselves; and, next to that, Am I in my calling? They had followed Christ before, as common disciples, Joh 1:37; now they must leave their calling. Those who would follow Christ aright, must, at his command, leave all things to follow him, must be ready to part with them. This instance of the power of the Lord Jesus encourages us to depend upon his grace. He speaks, and it is done.Left their father - This showed how willing they were to follow Jesus. They showed us what we ought to do. If necessary, we should leave father, and mother, and every friend, Luke 14:26. If they will go with us, and be Christians, it is well; if not, yet they should not hinder us. We should be the followers of Jesus. And, while in doing it we should treat our friends kindly and tenderly, yet we ought at all hazards to obey God, and do our duty to him. We may add that many, very many children, since Sunday schools have commenced, have been the means of their parents' conversion. Many children have spoken to their parents, or read the Bible to them, or other books, and prayed for them, and God has blessed them and converted them. Every child in a Sunday school ought to be a Christian; and then should strive and pray that God would convert his parents, and make them Christians too. We see here, too, what humble instruments God makes use of to convert people. He chose fishermen to convert the world. He chooses the foolish to confound the wise. And it shows that religion is true, and is the power of God, when he makes use of such instruments to change the hearts of people and save their souls. See the notes at 1 Corinthians 1:26-28. 22. And they immediately left the ship and their father—Mark adds an important clause: "They left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants" (Mr 1:20); showing that the family were in easy circumstances.

and followed him—Two harmonistic questions here arise: First, Was this the same calling as that recorded in Joh 1:35-42? Clearly not. For, (1) That call was given while Jesus was yet in Judea: this, after His return to Galilee. (2) Here, Christ calls Andrew: there, Andrew solicits an interview with Christ. (3) Here, Andrew and Peter are called together: there, Andrew having been called, with an unnamed disciple, who was clearly the beloved disciple (see on [1221]Joh 1:40), goes and fetches Peter his brother to Christ, who then calls him. (4) Here, John is called along with James his brother: there, John is called along with Andrew, after having at their own request had an interview with Jesus; no mention being made of James, whose call, if it then took place, would not likely have been passed over by his own brother. Thus far nearly all are agreed. But on the next question opinion is divided: Was this the same calling as that recorded in Lu 5:1-11? Many able critics think so. But the following considerations are to us decisive against it. First here, the four are called separately, in pairs: in Luke, all together. Next, in Luke, after a glorious miracle: here, the one pair are casting their net, the other are mending theirs. Further, here, our Lord had made no public appearance in Galilee, and so had gathered none around Him; He is walking solitary by the shores of the lake when He accosts the two pairs of fishermen: in Luke, the multitude are pressing upon Him, and hearing the word of God, as He stands by the Lake of Gennesaret—a state of things implying a somewhat advanced stage of His early ministry, and some popular enthusiasm. Regarding these successive callings, see on [1222]Lu 5:1.

First Galilean Circuit (Mt 4:23-25).

There was another James, Matthew 10:3, the son of Alpheus, called James the less, brother of Joses and Salome, Mark 15:40. This was

James the son of Zebedee, and John, who is thought to be the evangelist. Christ calleth them, not with his voice only, but by his Spirit, affecting their hearts, so as they immediately left their ship and their father. Elsewhere the disciples say, Master, we have left all and followed thee; probably their employment with their ship was their all. They left their father also, but it was upon Christ’s call, in which case it is every man’s duty,

and followed him, to learn of him before they went out to preach him, and to be witnesses of his miracles, &c.

And they immediately left the ship,.... More is expressed here than before, for they not only left their nets, but their ship too; which was of much more value; nay, even "their father" also, "with the hired servants", Mark 1:20 and so complied with the call of Christ to his people, Psalm 45:10 and thereby proved, that they were sincerely his followers, Luke 14:26 and might expect the gracious promise of Christ to be made good unto them, Matthew 19:28. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
Matthew 4:22. οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες. They too followed immediately, leaving nets, ship, and father (vide Mark 1:20) behind.

22. and their father] St Mark (Mark 1:20) adds “with the hired servants.” We may infer that Zebedee and his sons and their partners were raised above the lowest social rank.

Verse 22. - Left the ship and their father, and followed him (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ) . St. Matthew emphasizes the facts that they left both natural relations (so also St. Mark, adding the vivid detail, "the hired servants") and means of livelihood, and that here their continuous following of Christ began. St. Mark rather lay stress on their leaving the old life (ἀπῆλθον ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ) . Matthew 4:22
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