Jesus needed friends to help Him with His work. As He walked down by the Sea of Galilee, He saw some fishermen casting their nets into the water to catch fish. They were two brothers named Simon and Andrew.
Jesus called out to them. “Follow me,” He said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once, the two men left their nets and joined Him, for they knew that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
A little further on, Jesus came across two brothers named James and John. They were in their fishing boat, mending the nets with their father. When Jesus called out to them, they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him. They too knew that Jesus was sent by God.
Jesus chose these men not because they were clever, but because He knew they were strong, honest and loyal to God. Later on, Jesus gave Simon a new name, Peter, which meant ‘rock’. And He called James and John the ‘sons of thunder’ because they were determined and fiery young men.
Instead of gathering fish into their nets, Peter, Andrew, James and John would gather people into the kingdom of God. These four disciples stayed close to Jesus. They learnt from Him and helped Him as He travelled across the length and breadth of the country, teaching and healing.
Jesus found Philip in Galilee. He belonged to Peter and Andrew’s town. He, too, followed Jesus. Philip met Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about. He is Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph. He is the Messiah.” Nathanael too joined Philip and the other disciples of Jesus.
Each and every house in the time of Jesus had usually just one big room with a small window high up in the wall. The house would be so dark that an oil lamp had to be kept burning all night and most of the day as well.
Jesus said to His followers, “When you light a lamp, you don’t put it under the bed, do you? Of course, not! You put it on a table where it can light up the whole house. You must be like a lamp. Let your light shine out for everyone so that he may see the love and goodness of God shining in everything you do. Be a good example for them. They will soon realize that your light comes from God and will thank and praise Him.”
Jesus taught His followers all about the kingdom of God. He told them that He was the perfect example of love and obedience to His Heavenly Father. He said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me, shall not be walking in the dark; he shall have the light of life.”
Once, there was a wedding in the town of Cana, in Galilee. Mary and Jesus were invited and so were His disciples. The Jewish people are very traditional. They have lavish weddings with sumptuous food and good wine.
The wedding at Cana was also a merry feast. But unfortunately, the Jewish people ran out of wine. If the wine got over, there would be nothing for the guests to drink! This would cause much embarrassment to the bridegroom and his family.
Mary saw their plight and was worried. She turned to Jesus and said, “They have no more wine.” She wanted Him to help the bridegroom’s family. But Jesus replied, “You must not tell me what to do. My time has not yet come.”
Nevertheless, Mary told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you to do.” The Jews were very particular about ritual washing before meals. So, they had six large stone water pitchers for the guests at the wedding.
Each pitcher could hold about a hundred litres of water. Jesus instructed the servants to fill up those pitchers with water to the brim. Then He told them to take some water out of one of the pitchers and give it to the wine steward to taste.
The servants did as they were instructed. The wine steward tasted the water and was amazed. The water had turned into wine! He took the bridegroom aside and complimented him.
Most couples were served the best wine first and then the wine steward brought out cheaper wine after the guests had too much to drink and would not notice. “This wine is so good! You must have saved the best for the last,” the wine steward said. This was the first miracle performed by Jesus.