And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
I. WITH REGARD TO THOSE POINTS IN WHICH THE EXAMPLE OF THE APOSTLES AT THEIR CALL IS NOT TO BE UNIVERSALLY IMITATED, I would remark at once a wide difference betwixt their case and that of the generality of Christians, which is, that they were entering the ministerial office. Those whom they might convert, either from the errors of Judaism or the blindness of idolatry, might possibly become equally acceptable Christians in the sight of their Divine leader; but there would still remain a line of separation betwixt the two classes, and to each class peculiar duties were annexed. And besides this distinction which we have just noticed, there is another consideration which invests the situation of the apostles in a still more peculiar light. They were going to live day and night, and in constant companionship with one who, having "all power given Him both in heaven and earth," could, at any moment, supply their wants, whatever those wants might be: and in attending upon whom, therefore, they would be miraculously defended from all those evils which would infallibly overtake any one who now attempted literally to do as they were ordered. And in speculating upon our Saviour's purpose in this particular miracle, though the idea may not hitherto have occurred to you, it certainly does seem probable that He meant it to have this convincing effect; for that men, earning their precarious livelihood as mere fishermen on the Lake of Tiberias, probably dependent for their next day's meal on the fortune which attended their over-night's fishing, would naturally feel their trust much strengthened in our Saviour's character after such an exhibition of His miraculous power to help them, there cannot be a doubt. Christ foresaw, indeed, though as yet hidden from the apostles' eyes, that dreadful cloud of persecution which was gathering on every side of them, which in a very short while burst in its first fury upon Calvary, and soon after took off each one of our Lord's immediate followers by the refined agonies of some cruel death. And having this foreknowledge of what would and must come, Christ took only for the attendants of His mission such as would be undisturbed from their purpose of final perseverance and endurance: such in fact only as, having previously resigned all affections for this world, would be able and willing to quit life at any moment through the martyr's blood-stained gate. But, my brethren, there are some points in which the example of the apostles must be imitated, if we would be Christians. In the first place, we must imitate the apostles in their readiness to resign all earthly things when put in competition with those of heaven. Secondly, we must imitate them in their liveliness of conscience, to distinguish the value betwixt the body and the soul. Thirdly, we must imitate their perseverance and final triumph, through faith, over the temptations of life and the terrors of death.
(A. Garry, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.