Fishers of men

"Fishers of men" is a phrase used in the gospels to describe the mandate given by Jesus to his first disciples. Two brother fishermen, Simon called Peter and Andrew, were casting a net into the Sea of Galilee. As he commenced his preaching ministry, Jesus called them to follow him and told them that in doing so they were to become "fishers of men".

"I Shall Make You Fishers of Men"; a stained glass window at Kilmore Quay, Ireland

This calling of the first Apostles, which eventually become a group of twelve, made the two fishermen early followers of Jesus. There is a parallel account in Mark 1:16-20 and a similar but different story in Luke 5:1-11, the Luke story not including the phrase “Fishers of men” (or similar wording). The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges calls Matthew 4:18 a "condensed parable",[1] drawn out at slightly greater length later in the same gospel.[2]


  1. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Matthew 4, accessed 4 December 2016
  2. ^ Matthew 13:47–51