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One day as he was preaching on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the Word of God. He noticed two empty boats standing at the water’s edge while the fishermen washed their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push out a little into the water, so that he could sit in the boat and speak to the crowds from there.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets and you will catch a lot of fish!”

“Sir,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, we’ll try again.”

And this time their nets were so full that they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, sir, please leave us—I’m too much of a sinner for you to have around.” For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him, 10 and his partners too—James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Jesus replied, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for the souls of men!”

11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and went with him.

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