When Jesus called James and John to be His disciples, they were “… in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets” (Matthew 4:21).
Think for a moment about fishermen “mending” their nets. The nets were a precious possession to these men. Their livelihood depended on them. Therefore, it was important to keep them in top shape. After every use they were carefully examined. Any small tear or rip was immediately repaired. Left untended, a small break in the net would soon lead to a large hole and the efficient working of the net would be ruined. Fish would be lost. In a short time the tiny flaw would become so large as to make the net unusable. Finally, the net would be irreparable.
Look at another passage where the same word “mending” (katartizo in the Greek) is used: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). In this passage, the Greek word katartizo is translated into the phrase “perfectly joined together.” If you consider it, there are some interesting parallels between the physical act of fishermen “mending” their nets and Christians striving to be “perfectly joined together.”
For instance, unity among brethren should be very precious to us. Our spiritual welfare depends on it. We should realize the importance of maintaining unity, keeping a watchful eye on any situation that might threaten it. When a small dissension arises, we should address it immediately. Too often a small problem — left untended — grows into a large one. Efficiency in the church is ruined and souls are lost. As the rift grows larger, the church becomes useless to the Lord. Finally, the division becomes irreparable. Christian, are you “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3)?
Adapted from Greg Gwin