Matthew 19

25When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

27Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

John 21

2There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

Peter seems to still have his fishing equipment with him.

  • 2
    What seems to be the problem ? Peter fished, and Paul wove tents. No one said to beg, or live in the desert.
    – Lucian
    Aug 22, 2021 at 21:10
  • @LisaMclaren When, say, Martin Luther King said, "I have abandoned everything for sake of bringing justice to the Black people in America", he did not mean that he abandoned his wife or all his belongings. If everything is everything in a literal sense, then Peter must have walked naked following the Lord, abandoning also his clothes. Aug 22, 2021 at 21:49

3 Answers 3


Matthew 19:27 Has Peter forsaken everything to follow Jesus?

Fishing on the Sea of Galilee was a family business. They left all the equipment with the families they left.

And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matt 4:21–22, ESV)

And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. (Mark 1:19–20, ESV)

10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners [κοινωνοὶ] with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10–11, ESV)

The basic meaning of κοινωνοὶ means their fishing equipment was their common property. Perhaps that was how the disciples could get a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee.

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. (John 6:16–17, ESV)

Peter with the Apostles had left their old life to follow Christ during his ministry until Jesus was arrested. Peter didn't know how to handle the arrest.

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” (John 18:10–11)

Peter did what Jesus predicted, in spit of determining not to do.

The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. ... Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. (John 18:17-18,25–27, ESV)

Peter felt he was a failure as Jesus' disciple and returned to the previous life he knew.

Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. (John 21:2–3, ESV)

The rest of John 21 is Jesus repeating the call and reinstation Jesus.

See *Two* miraculous catches of fish in John 21 and significance?


The idea of the disciples "leaving everything" to follow Jesus is mentioned several times in the Gospels:

  • Matt 19:27 - Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
  • Mark 10:28 - Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
  • Luke 18:28 - Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

This important declaration by Peter is fully explained in two other places:

  • Luke 5:11 - So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
  • Luke 8:28 - and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Thus, it appears that "everything" was their vocation, worldly work and source of income. [Peter had not abandoned his wife and family as this is specifically mentioned in Mark 1:29-34, 1 Cor 9:5.] In Matt 19:27 - Peter is essentially saying that they have no income and are completely impoverished as a result of abandoning their livelihoods. However, Jesus immediately assures them that much greater rewards await in the next life:

Matt 19:28-30 - Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things,g when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

In John 21, Peter's fishing equipment may have been left to his companions when Peter was called by the sea. It may also have been borrowed equipment as well, we are not told. Their faith had been shattered and need to be strengthened which is what Jesus proceeded to do by preparing a meal and the subsequent conservation.

In any case, Peter, following this final experience with Jesus was fully committed to Jesus and from then on earned a living from the Gospel - see 1 Cor 9.

  • +1 a similar, different, but not incompatible answer.
    – Perry Webb
    Aug 23, 2021 at 10:40

Dottard and Perry have given their excellent answers already. Here I will focus on the word "forsaken".

Matthew 19:27

King James Bible

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

New King James Version

Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”

Even the King James translators softened the word "forsaken" to "left" in the new version.

In https://biblehub.com/matthew/19-27.htm, 2 versions use "forsaken" and 21 use "left".

Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.

Peter was speaking on behalf of the disciples. I wouldn't take the word "all" literally. Judas Iscariot probably didn't do so.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.