The beautiful plain of Gennesaret spreads out from one end of the lake, and there is a white beach of shells there, while at other points on the lake there are hills and great rocks close to the water.
On this white beach Jesus stood one spring morning teaching the people. As the fisher-folks and others gathered close around to hear Him, He was pushed so near the water that He stepped into Peter's boat, which was near the shore, and asked him to push it out a little way into the water, and there in the stern of the boat Jesus sat and taught the people who stood thick upon the shore.
The boat of Zebedee, the father of James and John was near by, for they were the partners of Peter and Andrew. They had washed their nets and had given up fishing until night again, for morning was not a good time for fishing, but Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, --
"Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught."
The disciples were surprised at this, for it was not the hour for fishing, and Peter said,
"Master, we have toiled all night and have taken nothing; nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."
[Illustration: Jesus among the fishermen]
When they had done this they found that their nets were filled with fishes, so that they called to James and John to come and help them, for their nets were breaking. When they had emptied the nets into the two boats they were filled so full that they began to sink.
Then Peter fell down at Jesus's knees and cried out, --
"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" so wonderful did the miracle seem to him.
But to Peter Jesus said, --
"Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men." James and John He also called, and showed them that the time had now come for them to help Him in founding the Kingdom.
They did not wait to sell the great draught of fishes that they had brought to land; and they did not wait to sell their fishing boats and nets, but they forsook all and followed Jesus. They did not know that their names would be known forever as the founders of the Christian Church with Him who was its divine Head.