What does Jesus promise Peter, James, and John? Read it carefully. "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." This is not what we would expect. There were many messiahs during this time. The others also did miracles. “Follow me and you’ll see incredible things,” is what they would say. Or, “See the great crowds, I am fishing for people. You can join my movement.” Most of these false messiahs had military ambitions. They wanted men who would fight for them and kick the Romans out. They wanted to be king, with all of Israel their devoted subjects. Jesus flipped that around. He said, “I will teach you.” Then he taught them how to be a small group. A dozen people devoted in love to each other. You know that he taught them well, because on Good Friday when their teacher was crucified like all the other messiahs, they stayed together. Except for Thomas and Judas, these first disciples were gathered in the upper room along with the women when Easter happened. This was because Jesus had taught them how to love each other, even after he was gone. I will make you (emphasis on you) a person who can gather people into a new life.
Other religious leaders would have said, “Follow me and I will teach you all the great truths of the universe.” Jesus didn’t say that. Why have we made the church so much about teaching doctrine and so little about love? If Jesus had promised to make these fishermen into philosophers, they’d have laughed at him. He instead promised to teach them a way of life that could be modeled and which others would be drawn to. You will fish for people and then make them into disciples like you. They will learn from you how to love. This is one of the last messages that Jesus gives them. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)