Teachings of Jesus

Why Would a Carpenter Choose Fishermen?

Why did He not select carpenters like Himself?

Near the beginning of His ministry, Jesus moved from inland Nazareth to the fishing village of Capernaum (Matthew 4:13; Luke 4:31). As Jesus walked along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, He called Peter and Andrew to be His disciples, both fishermen (Matthew 4:18). Next, He called James and John, two more fishermen (Matthew 4:21). Later, Jesus selected Philip and Nathaniel (John 1:43-46), probably more fishermen, since they were from nearby Bethsaida, another fishing village just east of Capernaum. We now know that the home of Mary Magdalene (Migdal/Magdala/Migdal Nunaya) was yet another fishing village.

Why did He not select carpenters like Himself? Moreover, in first-century Israel there were many more farmers from which to choose disciples than there were fishermen — why not prioritize them? Jesus’ choice of a fishing village as His base of operations and purposeful selection of so many disciples who were either fishermen or inhabitants of fishing villages suggest that by doing so, He was sending a message, but what was it?

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This article was originally published with AG NEWS. “Why Would a Carpenter Choose Fishermen?” AG NEWS, July 3, 2018. https://news.ag.org/features/why-would-a-carpenter-choose-fishermen

Dr. Wave Nunnally

Professor Emeritus of Early Judaism and Christian Origins Evangel University, Springfield, MO

Jewish backgrounds, New Testament, Hebrew language and the land of Israel are areas of expertise for Dr Wave Nunnally. He has studied, taught and written in these areas for over… More

Holy Land Trip




Lifepointe Church, Arizona

March 11 - March 24, 2024

Details Join Dr. Nunnally and team in Israel for an on-site study of the Bible in context! Enjoy learning how Jewish background information, including Rabbinics & ancient sources, geography and… More